Spring 2015

Document Type

Capstone Project

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)


Social, Behavioral & Global Studies


When a human population is faced with mass violence that violates their human rights, humanitarian aid agencies often intervene to provide temporary aid to the affected population in the form of food, shelter, medical supplies and assistance, and other life necessities. Yet, conflicts are often prolonged far longer than expected and that temporary aid turns into a more permanent international development intervention. In 2013, $22 billion was spend on humanitarian aid efforts around the world and this number is only expected to increase annually.

The intention of humanitarian aid is to help adversely affected populations, but often the result is more violence. Due to the nature of crises and the logistical necessity of delivering aid, agencies, despite the fact that most claim to be neutral, must form an alliance with one side of the conflict and more often than not, they side with governments.

Humanitarianism and international development follow a neoliberal Western model in carrying out aid projects, which is highly problematic considering the vast majority of these aid recipients are Third World, Global South nations that do not partake in the Western model. When these cultural differences are ignored in humanitarian efforts, a new enterprise is formed: the oppressive and violent enterprise of inhumanitarianism.


Capstone Project (B.A.) Social, Behavioral and Global Studies Department