About our project

This four-year project aims to advance the concept of ‘resilient humanitarianism’ through an historical investigation of one humanitarian body, the League of Red Cross Societies, from its inception to the end of the Cold War.

The League of Red Cross Societies (from 1991 the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies) was established by the national Red Cross societies of the United States, Britain, France, Italy and Japan on 5 May 1919. Led by banker and Chairman of the American Red Cross War Council, Henry Pomeroy Davison, the League sought to mobilise and build up Red Cross national societies for peace time work.

The concept of ‘resilient humanitarianism’ will advance our understanding of humanitarianism in general, and provide global policy makers and NGOs with historical insights to help inform, shape and transform future humanitarian debates. This work will result in a significant reshaping of our current scholarly understanding of humanitarian and transnational exchanges of knowledge in the 20th century.