Home Social positioning in humanitarian diplomacy: INGOs in North Korea

Approaching humanitarian diplomacy through a lens more commonly associated with international relations studies, Patrick Boulanger-Plante uses ‘the practice turn’ theory to understand the social position of organisations involved in the aid sector and unpick how this position influences the implementation of their mission.

The paper uses, as a central example, the case of international non-governmental organisations (INGOs) providing humanitarian aid to North Korea.

To paint a picture of the field of humanitarian aid in North Korea, Patrick uses multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) to analyse around 2,000 pieces of qualitative information. His research shows that the field is made up of three groups of INGOs, each with distinct social characteristics, and he investigates the impact of these characteristics on the humanitarian aid sector in North Korea in order to assist humanitarians to understand the dynamics that influence their decisions, wherever they may be in the world.

Photo credit: Reunification ribbons on a railroad bridge in the Demilitarised Zone of the Korean peninsula © James Nesterwitz /Alamy Stock Photo

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