The Salvation Agenda: The Politics of Medical Humanitarianism During Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak 2008/09 | University of Oxford

The Salvation Agenda: The Politics of Medical Humanitarianism During Zimbabwe’s Cholera Outbreak 2008/09

Speaker
Assoc. Professor Simukai Chigudu
Event date
Event time
17:30 - 19:00
Venue
St Cross College
St Giles
Oxford
OX1 3LZ
Venue details

Lecture Theatre

Event type
Lectures and seminars
Event cost
Free
Disabled access?
Yes
Booking required
Required

This paper examines the humanitarian politics of responding to Zimbabwe’s catastrophic cholera outbreak of 2008/09, the worst in African history. It demonstrates how humanitarian relief operations are riven by competing claims to leadership, authority and legitimacy but often converge on the ineluctable logic of saving lives – ‘the salvation agenda’. Nevertheless, the paper contends that the exigency of saving lives in this case did not, and could not, address the background political and socio-economic conditions that led to the epidemic. Thus, the paper explores the possibilities, pitfalls and paradoxes of the salvation agenda and mounts a novel critique of how the humanitarian industrial complex operates in Africa.