Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 399953
Title Ritual dynamics in humanitarian assistance
Author(s) Richards, P.
Source Disasters 34 (2010)Suppl. 2. - ISSN 0361-3666 - p. S138 - S146.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7717.2010.01150.x
Department(s) Technology and Agrarian Development
WASS
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2010
Keyword(s) sierra-leone - rights - war
Abstract Those who intervene in crises must take care to ensure that assistance does not undermine the processes through which social cohesion is generated or restored. From a neo-Durkheimian analytical perspective, feeding creates social loyalties as well as saves lives. Humanitarian agencies provide practical assistance to livelihoods, but they need also to create space for the ritual agency on which social cohesion depends. Attention to the rituals of food distribution helps humanitarian actors to address a potentially damaging dissociation between social and material facts. A post-war food security project in Sierra Leone is used to illustrate the point. The lessons of this intervention have implications for the organisation of humanitarian assistance at all levels, both international and local. The paper argues that establishing space for ritualisation within humanitarian programmes is an obligation for those who wish to do no harm
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