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What is a "Complex Humanitarian Emergency"? An Analytical Essay

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The prevailing usage of the concept of complex humanitarian emergency, even if valuable, is often fuzzy and misleading, and rarely articulated in a consistent framework, which could be used advantageously for research, interdisciplinary exchange, and policy making and analysis. We analyse critically the prevailing usage of the concept, and end up by setting up a more consistent and all embracing definition. Both the analysis and the proposed definition are based on a general analytical framework, coined disaster situation, we proposed a few years back in connection to natural disasters. The main conclusion is that the mostly implicit conceptual usage of the term, rather than the term itself, is akin to that of a disaster situation. As such, it can be used flexibly enough by various disciplines, especially from a political economy perspective, to design research, advance knowledge and propose policies within an analytical framework which is more consistent and systematic than that currently used.

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File URL: http://www.econ.qmul.ac.uk/papers/doc/wp420.pdf
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Paper provided by Queen Mary, University of London, School of Economics and Finance in its series Working Papers with number 420.

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Date of creation: Oct 2000
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Handle: RePEc:qmw:qmwecw:wp420

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Keywords: Disaster situation; Complexity; Emergency; Institutional setting;

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  1. J. M. Albala-Bertrand, 2000. "Complex Emergencies versus Natural Disasters: An Analytical Comparison of Causes and Effects," Oxford Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 28(2), pages 187-204.
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