Journal Article


What Happens to the State in Conflict?: Political Analysis as a Tool for Planning Humanitarian Assistance

Published on 1 January 2000

It is now part of received wisdom that peace-making and humanitarian assistance in complex political emergencies (CPEs) require an informed understanding of their political dimensions. All too often international agencies, donors and NGOs have plunged in on the basis of an inadequate understanding of what are, after all, profoundly political processes. The unintended, and even counter-productive, consequences of such interventions have been amply documented in many studies, some of which argue the thesis that humanitarian relief does (de Waal, 1997) or, at least may (Anderson, 1996; Duffield, 1994), fuel conflict.


Robin Luckham

Emeritus Fellow

Publication details

Cliffe, L. and Luckham, R.
Disasters, volume 24, issue 4


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