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This paper was originally given as the first Harrell-Bond Lecture on 17 November 1999. It attempts to analyse the relationship between globalisation and humanitarianism to point to the underlying neo-liberal agenda and the selective concern with human rights. It examines the implications of new humanitarianism for the principles of refugee protection. It argues that the ideology of humanitarianism mobilises a range of meanings and practices to establish and sustain global relations of domination. In particular, humanitariansim manipulates the language of human rights to legitimise a range of dubious practices, including its selective defense. It concludes by offering some broad recommendations.

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Refugee Studies Centre

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