Humanitarian crises caused by conflict, natural disaster and political instability are the subject of study of a range of disciplines, including international relations, international law, development studies, anthropology, public health, climate and environmental studies and forced migration studies. In addition, new research groups are being formed that focus especially on conflicts, disasters and humanitarian action. The International Humanitarian Studies Association offers a venue for these scholarly communities, in dialogue with policy actors, implementing agencies and reflective practitioners. It aims to enhance the alignment between knowledge, policy and practice in resolving humanitarian crises. Humanitarian studies concerns the ways in which humanitarian crises originate and evolve, how they affect people, institutions and societies, and the responses they trigger. 

Areas of interest

  • causes, dynamics and effects of humanitarian crises;
  • politics and discourses of humanitarian crises;
  • responses to crises: local responses, political, military and humanitarian interventions;
  • humanitarian response policies, programmes and organisations;
  • policies and practices of disaster preparedness and early warning;
  • policies and practices of rehabilitation, and the linkages with development, peacebuilding, and security;
  • legal issues pertaining to humanitarian affairs;
  • experiences and lifeworlds of affected communities, refugees and internally displaced people, and the refugee regimes employed towards them.

IHSA General Secretariat

GSG logoAs of January 2014, Globalisation Studies Groningen at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands acts as the general secretariat of IHSA. Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG) is an inter-faculty and interdisciplinary institute at the University of Groningen. It connects academic work of research groups and individuals issues relating to globalisation, development and humanitarianism. Its aim is to stimulate, support and initiate research projects, educational programmes, North-South linkages and project applications in these related fields, thus contributing to the global profile of the university. Visit the website for more information.