Humanitarian support in a denial of access context: emergent strategies at the interface of humanitarian and sovereign law

Erwin Biersteker, Julie Ferguson, Peter Groenewegen, Kees Boersma

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Abstract

The principles of international humanitarian law (IHL) have evoked considerable debate in the practice of humanitarian support, particularly in terms of emerging tensions with sovereign (national) law. Drawing on organization studies, we examine the emergent strategies aimed at resolving the ambiguous legal context in which humanitarian support operations in a conflict context are embedded. Our analysis of two missions revealed two types of emergent strategies, namely network and negotiation strategies, differentiated by particular contextual dimensions. We extend the humanitarian law debate by showing the strategic interplay between the operational humanitarian context and international humanitarian principles, thereby connecting the fields of international law and organization science.
Original languageEnglish
Article number14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of International Humanitarian Action
Volume6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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