Humanitarian Economics

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  • ISBN 9781849045520 


The booming global humanitarian market is worth billions of dollars a year, yet the demand for, and provision of, humanitarian assistance for those affected aby wars and disasters rarely if ever converges. In parallel, 'humanitarian economics' has emerged as a new field of study and practice, one that encompasses the economics and political economy of war, disaster, terrorism and hu--manitarianism. Carbonnier's book is the first to present humanitarian economics to a wider readership, one that seeks to define its parameters, explain its utility and convince us why it matters. Among the issues he discusses are: how are emotions and altruism incorporated within a rational-choice framework? How do the economics of war and terrorism inform humanitarians' negotiations with combatants, and shed light on the role of aid in conflict? What do catastrophe bonds and risk-linked securities hold for disaster response? How does the impact of the Syrian crisis on Lebanon illustrate the challenges of assessing needs in an urban, middle-income country and of opting for cash assistance rather than material aid? As more actors enter the humanitarian marketplace, including private firms, Carbonnier's revealing portrayal is especially timely, as is his critique of the transformative power of crises.

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