Watson Institute for Internation and Public Affairs
Brown International Advanced Research Institutes

BIARI at Brown 2016 - June 4-18

Humanitarian Response and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Increasing Effectiveness and Accountability in the Age of Complex Emergencies

“Natural” disasters and political unrest pose chronic threats to human security. Separately or in tandem, they turn citizens into refugees and displaced people, stretch government capacity, and, increasingly, spark chronic disorder, instability or military conflict. What are the implications of complex emergencies, where natural and man-made factors combine, for the future of humanitarian action? This institute will convene an interdisciplinary and international group of academics and practitioners to develop a better understanding of the underlying political, social, and environmental factors that affect human security before, during, and after humanitarian emergencies. Topics will include the effectiveness and sustainability of existing disaster preparedness systems in different regions; best practices in humanitarian assistance delivery, training and monitoring; and the politics of compassion in disaster and conflict zones. Discussions will focus in particular on the ethical issues that arise at the intersection of human security and humanitarian assistance; rights-based approaches to humanitarian relief; and the potential for new technologies to transform humanitarian response.



Adam Levine is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the Brown University Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship. His research focuses on improving the delivery of emergency care in resource-limited settings and during humanitarian emergencies. He also serves as Editor-in-Chief for the Global Emergency Medicine Literature Review, published annually in Academic Emergency Medicine.


Robert Blair IS an Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Studies at Brown University. His research focuses on post-conflict peacebuilding and state consolidation. 


Julie Thompson was a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs. Her work focuses on humanitarian assistance, particularly coordination and humanitarian funding mechanisms.