Humanitarian organisations across the globe face growing challenges in delivering aid, securing funds and maintaining public confidence. Trade-offs between sovereignty, democracy, security, development, identity and human rights have become highly complex. Self-appointed guardians of the public conscience are now also major sub-contractors of governments, sometimes critics of the very institutions they rely on for funds.
The digital Herrenhausen Conference "Governing Humanitarianism" interrogates present issues and future directions for global humanitarian governance in relation to its pasts, highlighting lessons to be learned from historical events and practices. It asks if humanitarian expansion has come at the expense of core values and effective intervention, and how the pursuit of global equity and social justice can, and has been pursued through shifting global and local power structures. How can we rethink the future direction of humanitarian governance in the world? How can shifting power relations be reconciled with the pursuit of global equity and social justice? What would a different way of working, more attuned to the realities now faced by leaders of big global organisations, actually look like? What will be the characteristics of successful humanitarian international NGOs in ten years' time?
The Herrenhausen Conference seeks to bridge the various gaps between disciplines, scholarship and practice as well as the national, international and global spheres of analysis. It actively involves early career scholars and established academics with leading members from the field of international action in the debate on the past, present, and future of global humanitarian governance.
"Governing Humanitarianism - Past, Present and Future" is part of the Herrenhausen Conference Series initiated by the Volkswagen Foundation.
Organizers: University of Oxford, University of Exeter, University of Cologne, Leibniz-Institute of European History Mainz, Volkswagen Foundation
Digital Herrenhausen Conference
"Governing Humanitarianism - Past, Present and Future"
September 27-28, 2021
Digital Panel Discussion, 27 September 2021, 3:30 p.m - 5:00 p.m.
"Human Rights and Humanitarianism - a Complicated Relationship?"
Chair: Prof. Dr. Fabian Klose, Professor of International History and Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Cologne
Prof. Dr. Michael Barnett, Professor of International Affairs and Political Science, George Washington University, Washington DC, USA
Prof. Dr. Julia Irwin, Professor of International History, University of South Florida, Tampa, USA
Prof. Dr. Angelika Nußberger, Professor of International Law, Director of the Institute of Eastern European Law at the University of Cologne and former Vice President at the European Court of Human Rights in Straßbourg
Digital Panel Discussion, 28 September 2021, 3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Keynote: "Forced displacement, unlawful internment, and humanitarian neutrality"
Adama Dieng, former UN Under-Secretary General
Chair: Prof. Andrew Thompson, Professor of Global and Imperial History, Nuffield Collage, University of Oxford
The digital conference language is English.
There are no fees for online attendance.
The Herrenhausen Conferences, organized by the Volkswagen Foundation at Herrenhausen Palace, a modern convention center, focus on scientific topics of high social impact that are of particular relevance to the present and future. The Herrenhausen Conferences address unanswered questions and unsolved problems and their relevance for society. They provide international experts as well as junior researchers with a platform for an intense interdisciplinary dialogue on exciting new areas of research and innovative methodological approaches.