In September 2021, IRDR will launch a brand new degree programme aimed at understanding and tackling some of the world's most pressing challenges: the Global Humanitarian Studies BSc. In advance of this launch, the IRDR's annual Humanitarian Summit will offer some provoking debate and discussion around how climate change, conflict and other global phenomena are shaping both the humanitarian sector and humanitarian studies as a field of research and teaching, and vice versa.  

We welcome staff, students, alumni, policymakers and the public to join the debate.

The one-day online event will be split into two themes:

10:00-12.30: Humanitarian work and research at risk

In the morning sessions, guests will discuss the increasing risks humanitarian workers and researchers are facing in "the field", with increasing targeting, experiences of harassment/violence, state restrictions, and also COVID-19 related impacts on mobility. A key question will be: What do these violence and "access" challenges mean for the future of humanitarian work and humanitarian studies?

14:00-16:00: “New risks” and old approaches, or vice versa? Interrogating gender and climate security rhetoric

Climate change is the “new” global threat and climate security is a new way of framing the risks posed by climate-related hazards in economically and politically fragile settings. Is this narrative undermining development approaches that aim to address the underlying causes of climate change and environmental degradation e.g. fossil fuel based-economies or gender and race inequalities? Is this yet another distraction to avoid challenging hegemonic discourses on controlling (and destroying) the environment and controlling populations? These afternoon sessions will discuss whether current discourses around climate change adaptation and mitigation have come some way (if at all) in integrating alternative, often more feminist, perspectives to frame the problems and solutions.