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The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War Paperback – 1 Jun 2010

3.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Verso (1 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844676285
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844676286
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.2 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 493,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Fascinating and important ... rigorous and nuanced. --Steven Poole, Guardian

Poised to influence debate ... Foleys treatment of the courts legal issues is informed and direct. --New York Times Book Review

Foley provides a very useful, and alternative, review of the roots of contemporary political humanitarianism. --Maria Ryan, Journal of American Studies

About the Author

A humanitarian aid worker, Conor Foley has worked for a variety of human rights and humanitarian aid organizations, including Liberty, Amnesty International and the UNHCR, in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Colombia, Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. His books include Combating Torture: a manual for judges and prosecutors (2003).


Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is essential. It responds with both compassion and the wisdom of first hand experience to the growing debate over humanitarian crises and how to deal with them. I applaud the author for his courage in volunteering for humanitarian service in some of the most dangerous places on earth. More importantly though I applaud his courage in speaking up forcefully to the growing lobby of liberal interventionists, who urge the US to take up the new `white man's burden' and to assume the mantle of responsibility to protect. Conor Foley has put himself in harm's way during his service and now argues against the tide of growing opinion (supported by the media and such high profile players as CNN's Christiane Amanpour) in favour of a more cautious and pragmatic approach to humanitarian conflicts. Mr. Foley quite literally charts a course along a `Thin Blue Line' between humanitarian compassion and the impulse to intervene, which has in recent years evidently caused more suffering rather than less.

A few examples of Foley's contribution to the debate may be helpful:

* The author reviews the traditional role of humanitarian organizations and their tendency toward neutrality in order to accomplish their goals. He then explains how that neutrality has been co-opted by a political humanitarianism favoring intervention.
* He examines how the policies of the UK government evolved under Tony Blair to abandon multilateralism in favor of liberal interventionism and a special relationship with "the world's strongest state."
* He explains how the humanitarian effort in Afghanistan "joined the wider counter-insurgency effort." And he laments that he and his colleagues had not signed up for such a role.
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By Stasa on 21 April 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Explains how we came to accept the notion 'fight for peace' and how humanitarian became a synonym to military. Intriguing.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
full of factual errors.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
ok shape
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