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The Price of IndifferenceRefugees and Humanitarian Action in the New Century$
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Arthur C. Helton

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780199250318

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0199250316.001.0001

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Reaction and Inattention Within the US Government

Reaction and Inattention Within the US Government

(p.227) 8 Reaction and Inattention Within the US Government
The Price of Indifference

Arthur C. Helton (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

As evidenced in US government responses to humanitarian emergencies over the past decade, humanitarian considerations are often not taken into account sufficiently in military and political planning processes. Kosovo was a prime example. The status quo is not an optimal basis for promoting US humanitarian interests. Bureaucratic turf wars and a long‐standing debate between the developed and developing countries on questions of intervention and national sovereignty have politicized and slowed effective humanitarian action, causing donor countries to turn away from formal multi‐lateral structures. To more effectively discharge US government functions in the humanitarian field and to more effectively coordinate policy, a new separate civilian agency —an Agency for Humanitarian Action (AHA)—is proposed.

Keywords:   developed countries, developing countries, humanitarian action, humanitarian emergencies, Kosovo, multilateralism, national sovereignty, policy coordination, turf wars, US government

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