Theses Doctoral

Making Humanitarian Spaces Global: Coordinating Crisis Response through the Cluster Approach

Fredriksen, Aurora

This dissertation asks how global humanitarian spaces are being made through the socio-material practices associated with the Cluster Approach for the coordination of humanitarian action. Drawing on in-depth interviews with humanitarian professionals from the UN, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and various humanitarian NGOs, participant observation in cluster training courses, and an extensive documentary review, this dissertation traces the various practices, material arrangements, and knowledge practices through which the Cluster Approach is enacting global humanitarian spaces and achieving a global scale of humanitarian action. Starting with an exploration of the places and territorializations of global spaces, this dissertation moves into an account of the ways crises are made knowable and sites are connected through the circulation of information within the clusters. The dissertation also looks at the temporal orientations of humanitarian action are implicated in the designation of spaces as specifically humanitarian by different cluster actors, before finally considering how the deployment of different material response items enact different spatial relations and timelines of crisis. Rather than finding that practices are unified or that they enact global humanitarian spaces in a singular way, the dissertation finds that socio-material practices associated with the Cluster Approach are multiple, making different global humanitarian spaces.



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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Sassen, Saskia
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
August 27, 2012