The Routledge Handbook of Humanitarian Communication is an authoritative and comprehensive guide to research in the academic sub-field of humanitarian communication. It is broadly focused on communication that presents human vulnerability as a cause for public concern and encompasses communication with respect to humanitarian aid and development as well as human rights and "humanitarian" wars.
Recent years have seen the expansion of critical scholarship on humanitarian communication across a range of academic fields, sharing recognition of the centrality of media and communications to our understanding of humanitarianism as an agent of transnational power, global governance and cosmopolitan solidarity. The Handbook brings into dialogue these diverse fields, their theoretical frameworks and methodological approaches as well as the public debates that lie at the heart of the contemporary politics of humanitarianism. It consolidates existing knowledge and maps out this emerging field as an important site of interdisciplinary knowledge production on media, communication and humanitarianism.
As such, the Handbook is not simply a collection of texts sharing a similar theme. It is a coherent intellectual contribution which systematizes current critical scholarship in terms of Domains, Methods and Issues and sets an agenda of emerging and evolving research priorities in the field. Consisting of 26 chapters written by international scholars, who have contributed to laying the foundation of the field, this volume provides an essential guide to the key ideas, issues, concepts and debates of humanitarian communication.
Table of Contents
Humanitarian Communication in the 21st Century
Lilie Chouliaraki and Anne Vestergaard
PART I: DOMAINS
1. Disaster Aid as a Domain of Media and Humanitarian Politics
2. Development and its Narratives
3. Human Rights, Culture and Media
4. Media and Compassion in Digital War
PART II: METHODS
5. The Audience of Humanitarian Communication
6. Text-analytical Approaches to Humanitarian Communication
7. Production-centered Approaches to Humanitarian Communication
8. Ethnography in Humanitarian Communication: Descending into the Lifeworlds of Witnessing and Wounded Subjects
Jonathan Corpus Ong
PART III: ISSUES
9. The Logic of Projects in Humanitarian Relief
10. Micro-mapping: Digital Humanitarianism and the Politics of Material Participation in Disaster Relief
11. Technocolonialism: Digital Innovation and Data Practices in the Humanitarian Response to Refugee Crises
12. The Politics of Humanitarian Journalism
Martin Scott, Kate Wright and Mel Bunce
13. Conflicted Witnesses: Journalists and the Humanitarian Imaginary
14. Human Rights Protests and Mediated Violence
15. Celebrity Advocacy
16. Brand Aid: Humanitarianism in Corporate Communication
Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte
17. Humanitarianism in the African Luxury Designer Market
18. Corporate Social Responsibility and the Humanitarian Civic Imaginary
19. Volunteer Tourism as Humanitarian Communication
20. Humanitarianism and Microfinance
Histories and Futures
21. Humanitarian Imagery: Historical registers in the representation of atrocity
22. Photography and Humanitarian Intervention: The Early Years, 1850s–1914
23. MSF: Silence heals. From the Cold War to the War on Terror
24. How Do We Arm the Other Eleven? Humanitarianism, Commodities and Jobs
25. Post-humanitarianism: Solidarity beyond the Politics of Pity
26. Data Witnessing: Attending to Injustice with Data in Amnesty International’s Decoders Project
Lilie Chouliaraki is a Professor of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics and Political Science. She has published extensively on distant suffering as a problem of communication and is the author, co-author or editor of eight volumes, including Discourse in Late Modernity (1999), The Spectatorship of Suffering (2006/2011), The Soft Power of War (ed., 2008), The Ironic Spectator (2013) and The Digital Border (2022).
Anne Vestergaard is an Associate Professor at Copenhagen Business School. Her research revolves around mainstream discourses of morality, pursued in two strands of research, one concerning humanitarian communication, the other concerning CSR communication. Vestergaard’s work is published in international journals such as Business & Society, Journal of Business Ethics and Critical Discourse Studies. In addition, Vestergaard is co-editor of Civic Engagement and Social Media. Political Participation Beyond Protest (2015).