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Humanitarianism: Between Realism and Utopia
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, Studies in Faith and Ideologies, Ethics.
2017 (English)In: Antae Journal, ISSN 2523-2126, Vol. 4, no 1, p. 102-113Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The main claim in this article is that humanitarianism can be depicted as an attempt of establishing a realistic utopia. The claimed is supported by comparison between More’s Utopia and Dunant’s A memory of Solferino. Despite the differences in style and context, both authors show a sensitive analysis of human nature and war as a phenomenon. They both show that war should be conducted in a way that reduces suffering. It is also important that several of their ideas that were far flung at the time have become political mainstream. This in turn illustrate that some utopian depictions can turn out to be realistic. Dunant’s text illustrates this by making concrete proposals that brought about long lasting changes in the conduct of war. Despite coming short of abolishing war his text represent a realistic utopia that expanded the field of what was politically possible.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 4, no 1, p. 102-113
Keywords [en]
Utopia, humanitarianism, realism, war, peace, relief, More, Dunant
National Category
Ethics
Research subject
Ethics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-320754OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-320754DiVA, id: diva2:1090648
Available from: 2017-04-25 Created: 2017-04-25 Last updated: 2017-11-18

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