Genealogical analysis of the dispositive of humanitarianism/trusteeship: from colonial administration to peacebuilding

Igarashi, Motomichi (2013) Genealogical analysis of the dispositive of humanitarianism/trusteeship: from colonial administration to peacebuilding. Doctoral thesis (PhD), University of Sussex.

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Abstract

By using genealogy, this study analyzes the dispositive of humanitarianism/trusteeship, which has constituted the power relationship between trustees and target societies and fields of intervention of power in international society. This dispositive has been reproduced from the colonial period to the present. However, this study does not attempt a complete history of humanitarianism and trusteeship. Its aim is to follow the formation and reproduction of power relations in international society. In this study, ‘trusteeship’ refers to a relation of inequality and a field of intervention, rather than a specific or particular historical practice. Thus, the concept of trusteeship includes various practices such as colonial administration, development assistance, and transitional administration. Equally, the category of ‘humanitarianism’ also includes practices such as protection from anarchy, relief from oppression, and freedom from poverty, which are above and beyond the direct relief of suffering. Examining IR theories which employ genealogy, this study adopts sociological genealogy as a methodology. Previous studies on new trusteeship tend to presume that new trusteeship is rooted only in liberal internationalism. However, this study argues that it is underpinned not only by liberal internationalism but iii

also by humanitarian discourse. Furthermore, some existing works on humanitarian intervention and new trusteeship presume that there are two kinds of humanitarianism: ‘humanitarianism separate from politics’ and ‘humanitarianism abused by politics.’ The former means that politics is just a tool for humanitarian purposes; and the latter means that humanitarian discourse is a convenient cloak for political interests. This dichotomy leads to the distinction between ‘good trusteeship embodying humanitarianism’ and ‘bad trusteeship abusing humanitarianism.’ This study aims to show that this dichotomy is highly questionable and to indicate the co-constitutive nature of trusteeship and humanitarianism. The language of trusteeship harks back to the colonial period even while the humanitarianism of today tends to reject political and colonial content. While trusteeship requires strong moral justification, humanitarianism contributes to the constitution of trusteeship when it attempts to alleviate human suffering. Although humanitarianism has represented trusteeship as universal and impartial, trusteeship has tended to expand and defend the interests of particular communities in international society. This study indicates the inherent danger of trusteeship and humanitarianism.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JV Colonies and colonisation. Emigration and immigration. International migration > JV0001 Colonies and colonisation > JV0412 Administration
J Political Science > JZ International relations > JZ1305 Scope of international relations. Political theory. Diplomacy > JZ1464 Scope of international relations with regard to countries, territories, regions, etc.
Depositing User: Library Cataloguing
Date Deposited: 10 Oct 2013 14:12
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2015 12:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46590

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