Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

From Empire to Humanity: The Russian Famine and the Imperial Origins of International Humanitarianism

Abstract
Abstract

This article investigates the imperial origins of international humanitarianism in the British and international relief mission to Russia during the famine of 1921–1922. The famine triggered the first large-scale international humanitarian mission beyond the scope of the European and American empires. Imperial expertise and knowledge became central to the British as well as international humanitarian response to relieve hungry Russia. From international coordination to national campaigns, British politicians and voluntary aid workers relied on imperial tools and thought. The British involvement in the relief mission to Russia thus provides a fresh perspective on the development of internationalist and nationalist humanitarian projects in the interwar period and their relationship to imperial legacies. Through humanitarian aid, Britain assumed a new role on a global stage. By retooling imperial expertise, humanitarian ethics became part of a project of global governance. Furthermore, with the advice of former colonial experts, a “mixed economy” of voluntary and state aid underlay the collaboration between voluntary and international agencies throughout the famine and after. The history of famine relief provides a case study in the emergence of humanitarian governance in the twentieth century.

Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Michelle Tusan , “‘Crimes against Humanity’: Human Rights, the British Empire, and the Origins of the Response to the Armenian Genocide,” American Historical Review 119, no. 1 (February 2014): 4777

Pierre Fuller , “Decentering International and Institutional Famine Relief in Late Nineteenth-Century China: In Search of the Local,” European Review of History: Revue Européenne D'histoire 22, no. 6 (November 2015): 873–89

An International Civilization? Empire, Internationalism and the Crisis of the Mid-Twentieth Century,” International Affairs 82, no. 3 (May 2006): 553–66

Rob Skinner and Alan Lester , “Humanitarianism and Empire: New Research Agendas,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, no. 5 (December 2012): 729–47

Emily Baughan , “The Imperial War Relief Fund and the All British Appeal: Commonwealth, Conflict and Conservatism within the British Humanitarian Movement, 1920–25,” Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History 40, no. 5 (December 2012): 845–61

Matthew Hilton , “Ken Loach and the Save the Children Film: Humanitarianism, Imperialism, and the Changing Role of Charity in Postwar Britain,” Journal of Modern History 87, no. 2 (June 2015): 357–94

Charles M. Edmondson , “The Politics of Hunger: The Soviet Response to Famine, 1921,” Soviet Studies 29, no. 4 (October 1977): 506–18

Sheldon Watts , “From Rapid Change to Stasis: Official Responses to Cholera in British-Ruled India and Egypt 1860 to c. 1921,” Journal of World History 12, no. 2 (Fall 2001): 321–74

James Vernon , “The Ethics of Hunger and the Assembly of Society: The Techno-Politics of the School Meal in Modern Britain,” American Historical Review 110, no. 3 (June 2005): 693725

Linda Mahood and Vic Satzewich , “The Save the Children Fund and the Russian Famine of 1921–23: Claims and Counter-Claims about Feeding Bolshevik Children,” Journal of Historical Sociology 22, no. 1 (March 2009): 5583

Christina Twomey , “Framing Atrocity: Photography and Humanitarianism,” History of Photography 36, no. 3 (August 2012): 255–64

Rodney Breen , “Saving Enemy Children—Save the Children's Russian Relief Organization, 1921–1923,” Disasters 18, no. 1 (September 1994): 221–37

Nick Cullather , “The Foreign Policy of the Calorie,” American Historical Review 112, no. 2 (April 2007): 337–64

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Journal of British Studies
  • ISSN: 0021-9371
  • EISSN: 1545-6986
  • URL: /core/journals/journal-of-british-studies
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 15
Total number of PDF views: 198 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 758 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 23rd June 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.