The Red Cross Movement

The Red Cross Movement

Symposium, 14-15 June 2021
  • Actualité Sciences PoActualité Sciences Po

The Red Cross Movement, Voluntary Organisations and Reconstruction in Western Europe in the 20th century

Paris, 14 & 15 June 2012 (online only)

This symposium is a joint endeavour of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Flinders University in South Australia, the Centre d’Histoire de Sciences Po in Paris, and the Graduate Institute in Geneva. 

Historical research on voluntary or non-government organisations and their contribution to the reconstruction of states, communities and humanitarian assistance to civilian populations following conflicts, epidemics and disasters through the twentieth century has generally focused on non-Western European countries. The historiography suggests that it is mostly in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa that natural or man-made disasters have occurred, and that these places have been the focus for humanitarian assistance. The major geographical spheres of historical and historiographical interest for Red Cross societies and non-government organisations to provide assistance to populations in times of severe crises do not generally focus on Western Europe, except for World War II. Rather, the humanitarian enterprise tends to be viewed through the binary of the “Global North/Global South”, those who save and those who are saved.

The symposium sets out to explore the ways in which non-government organisations have contributed to the reconstruction, and care for populations, in Western European countries such as France, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium, Italy and the Netherlands. We wanted to investigate how the Red Cross movement – the League of Red Cross Societies/International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent, the International Committee of Red Cross and individual national societies – alongside other voluntary organisations and a range of other international and local non-government bodies, contributed to reconstruction in these countries at both national and local levels following times of crises such as wars, civilian upheavals and natural disasters. The focus of this symposium is to survey the role, influence and agency of not-for-profit and non-governmental organisations and civil society in times of reconstruction.

Organising committee: 

  • Professor Melanie Oppenheimer, Flinders Univeristy 
  • Professor Guillaume Piketty, Sciences Po, Centre d'histoire (CHSP)
  • Professor Paul-André Rosental, Sciences Po, Centre d'histoire (CHSP)
  • Professor Davide Rodogno, Graduate Institute Geneva
  • Senior Lecturer Romain Fathi, Flinders University / Sciences Po, Centre d'histoire (CHSP)

▸ Program (PDF, 1,78 Mo) (Event closed to the public)

▸ Contact: Dr Romain Fathi

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