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Implementation and World PoliticsHow International Norms Change Practice$
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Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712787.001.0001

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Institutionalizing and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm

Institutionalizing and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm

The League of Red Cross Societies and the International Relief Union

(p.230) 13 Institutionalizing and Implementing the Disaster Relief Norm
Implementation and World Politics

Scott D. Watson

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the implementation and institutionalization of the international disaster relief norm. Placing the emergence of this norm in the late nineteenth century with changing conceptions of natural disaster and a growing humanitarian ethos, international disaster relief was implemented and later institutionalized as a voluntary activity on the part of states, loosely coordinated through international mechanisms. Focusing on the establishment of the League of Red Cross Societies and the International Relief Union, this chapter argues that international institutionalization followed domestic implementation of international disaster relief in the United States, and thus was profoundly influenced by American power, both ideational and material. The chapter concludes that the basic tenets of international disaster relief, contested and largely settled in the inter-war period, continue to shape and limit the current international disaster relief regime.

Keywords:   disaster relief, institutionalization, implementation, Red Cross, International Relief Union, humanitarianism

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