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This paper critically examines the ‘humanitarian innovation’ movement, arguing that it represents a departure from classical principles and the entry of a distinctive new ideology into the sector. Labelling this ‘humanitarian neophilia’, the paper argues that it has resonances of Barbrook and Cameron’s ‘Californian Ideology’, with its merging of New Left and New Right within the environs of Silicon Valley. Humanitarian neophilia, similarly, comes from a diverse ideological heritage, combining an optimistic faith in the possibilities of technology with a commitment to the power of markets. It both ‘understates the state’ and ‘overstates the object’, promoting a vision of self-reliant subjects rather than strong nation-states realising substantive socioeconomic rights.

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Taylor & Francis

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