Anthropologists have only recently begun to address humanitarianism directly in their research. In this paper, I argue that an emerging anthropology of humanitarianism can draw from work in related areas, including development and refugee studies. Anthropologists will also benefit from work in fields such as history and policy that have addressed issues of humanitarianism. Many of the issues in this domain, including governance, assistance, inequality, and the social dynamics of aid are central preoccupations for anthropologists. The data they obtain through qualitative research and in-depth fieldwork will contribute focused perspectives and insights to a field where broad generalizations and macro-level perspectives have often eclipsed the local realities of and specific responses to humanitarian activities and discourses.
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