Issue Details: First known date: 2011 2011
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'Humanitarianism is sexy, or so they say. Unlike other forms of civic aid that go by less glamorous names, such as social work, the word 'humanitarian' carries with it a particular glow of grandeur. Because it deploys the language or the human, rather than of the citizen, it is able - indeed compelled - to range promiscuously across national borders in search of bodies to claim as its proper object of attention. This inbuilt distance between the social worlds of the aid worker and of the recipient of aid lends itself to erotics of the exotic that bespeaks polysemous forms of desire. Humanitarianism is sexy, in the sense that it makes humanitarians seem enticingly chic; it is also sexualised, caught up in a romance narrative of endless longing for a strange other.' (Author's introduction, p. 43)

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Last amended 21 Jul 2014 15:13:09