By Sue Lautze, Jennifer Leaning, Angela Raven-Roberts, Randolph Kent, Joanna Macrae, and Dyan Mazurana. 2004 (December). Lancet (Special issue on armed conflict and instability).
This article presents an introduction to the causes and characteristics of armed conflicts. It reviews some of the key humanitarian crises that broke new ground in terms of the technologies and practices that developed at the field level in response to each new complex emergency, with particular focus on the health sector. It introduces the concept of humanitarian governance as a framework for addressing the consequences and implications of the failure of worldwide governance for the protection of civilians in armed conflict. Here, we term humanitarian governance to include the use of international humanitarian law and human rights instruments to govern the behaviour of state and non-state organisations in conflict zones in a way that protects the lives and livelihoods of affected populations. We note, however, that terrorist concerns appear to be replacing humanitarian logic in the network of worldwide governance.