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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Humanitarianism and Health - November 21.docx

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Tania Li

November 21, 2013. Lecture 10 – Humanitarianism and Health Overview of Lecture • Revisit Fassin: global health and the politics of life • Definitions and distinctions (Humanitarianism and Human rights) • Political-economic and Historical context • Ethical tensions in humanitarian work (Redfield, Whiteford) • Medical humanitarianism in the global blahblah Didier Fassin on Global Health • Health as “global common good” – universality continually contested o Uses example of illegal immigrants not receiving healthcare in the United States to illustrate that this remains to be constantly debated • Semantics: connoting both security and humanitarian responses • Much more reliance on the biological determinants of health instead of the social • “Politics of Life” o Complimentary to biopower o “matter and meaning” of life o Ethics (rather than technologies) of governing life o Ideological assertions of the “value” of life o Unequal “worth” attached to particular lives in practice Human Rights and Humanitarianism • Ticktin: “here, the appeal to law remains opportunistic” • Origins are in religiously motivated charity and particularly work of the Catholic church (:35-36) • Redfield: “an array of particular embodied, situated practices emanating from the humanitarian desire to alleviate the suffering of others” (:330) • A“minimalist biopolitics” – “the temporary administration of survival within wider circumstances that do not favour it” (Redfield: 344) Global Context of Medical Humanitarianism • “capital circulates freely, whereas people cannot” (Ticktin, 2006:37) o Newer definitions of personhood o Advocating health aid in the name of short-term alleviation of suffering • “a borderless world retains the ruins of earlier frontiers, across which some people move far more easily than others” (Redfield, 2005: 337) Eth
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