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GH 101: Humanitarian Crisis: Context, Problems, and Response

GH 101: Humanitarian Crisis: Context, Problems, and ResponseToday, the number of refugees worldwide is as high as it was immediately after World War Two.  When we say that we have a duty to rescue, or even a “right to protect,” what does that mean in practice?  Can we do a better job of designing and operating refugee camps so that they are truly havens, and not dangerous places for women and children? What sort of humanitarian aid empowers people to build a better future, and what forms of aid are only short-term solutions? Tidal waves, earthquakes, floods, and famines may seem like random misfortunes, but can we learn to plan ahead and address human behaviors (or structural inequalities) that make “natural disasters” even worse? In the case of civil wars, can refugees ever hope to return home, or does ending a conflict involve a process of “nation building” that is too expensive and uncertain? How can the media do a better job of raising awareness without “compassion fatigue” setting in?  Have we learned anything from past mistakes that can help us build a better international response, whether on the part of the United Nations, individual countries, or nonprofit charity groups?  What can you do with your particular skill set (nursing, STEM, counseling and therapy, journalism, activism, or entrepreneurial and management expertise) that might hold the potential for new and better solutions?  We will explore all this and more in this course, through readings, role play, discussion and debate.

Instructors: Dr. Andrea Arrington and Dr. Isaac Land

Please contact Dr. Arrington or Dr. Land if you have questions about this course.


Greg Bierly, Dean

Pickerl Hall 110
Indiana State University
812.237.3676 fax

Office Hours:
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM