Oppenheimer M, Schech S, Fathi R, Wylie N & Cresswell R (2021) Resilient Humanitarianism? Using Assemblage to re-evaluate the history of the League of Red Cross Societies. International History Review, 43 (3), pp. 579-597. https://doi.org/10.1080/07075332.2020.1810100
The League of Red Cross Societies (LRCS) – known as the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) since 1991 – has received little historical attention despite representing the world’s largest volunteer network and being an integral part of the Red Cross Movement. Formed in the aftermath of the First World War by the national Red Cross Societies of the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan, the LRCS aspired to lead in the promotion of global public health and welfare during peacetime. Through the lens of assemblage thinking and the five assemblage elements of exteriority, capacity to evolve, internal machinery, open systems, and desire, the paper seeks to understand the longevity and resilient humanitarianism of the LRCS. In doing so, the paper provides a new conceptualisation of the LRCS that helps to explain how it survived in the rapidly changing and increasingly contested international humanitarian environment of the twentieth century.
League of Red Cross Societies; International Federation of Red Cross Red Crescent; Red Cross Movement; resilient humanitarianism; twentieth century internationalism; assemblage
International History Review: Volume 43, Issue 3