This review traces anthropological studies of humanitarianism starting in the late 1980s, when humanitarianism began to take shape as a particular moral and political project through the formation of transnational nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). It follows both the evolving relationship of anthropologists to humanitarianism—initially as allies, then as critics, alternately embracing and challenging their conjoined humanist legacy—and the growing field of the anthropology of humanitarianism.


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