The Red Cross Movement

Myths, practices and turning points

Edited by Neville Wylie, Melanie Oppenheimer and James Crossland

The Red Cross Movement


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-3351-9
  • Pages: 320
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £90.00
  • Published Date: March 2020
  • BIC Category: International Relations, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Philanthropy & Charity, SOCIAL SCIENCE / Developing & Emerging Countries, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General, Aid & Relief Programmes, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Development studies, Society & social sciences / International relations
  • Series: Humanitarianism: Key Debates and New Approaches


For over 150 years, the Red Cross has brought succour to the world's needy, from sick and wounded soldiers on the battlefield, to political detainees, to those suffering the effects of natural disasters. The world's oldest and most preeminent humanitarian movement, the relevance and status of the Red Cross Movement today is as high as it has ever been.

Reimagining and re-evaluating the Red Cross as a global institutional network, this volume charts the rise of the Red Cross and analyses the emergence of humanitarianism through a series of turning points, practices and myths. The contributors explore the three unique elements that make up the Red Cross Movement: the International Committee of the Red Cross, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent formerly known as the League of Red Cross Societies (both based in Geneva) and the 192 national societies. With chapters by leading scholars and researchers from Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and America, the book offers a timely account of this unique, complex and contested organisation.


1 The Red Cross movement: continuities, changes and challenges - Neville Wylie, Melanie Oppenheimer and James Crossland
2 Certainty, compassion and the ingrained arrogance of humanitarians - Davide Rodogno

Part I: The Movement's foundational 'myths'
3 The Americans lead the way? The United States Sanitary Commission and the development of the Red Cross movement, 1861-1871 - James Crossland
4 Intertwined stories of war humanitarianism: the British Order of St John of Jerusalem and the Red Cross in the Spanish Civil Wars of the 1870s - Jon Arrizabalaga, Sánchez-Martínez and J. Carlos García-Reyes
5 The early history of the Red Cross Society of China and its relation to the Red Cross Movement - Caroline Reeves
6 Failure to launch: the American Red Cross in an era of contested neutrality, 1914-1917 - Branden Little

Part II: Turning points
7 Challenging the colonial and the international: the American Red Cross in the last war of Cuban independence (1895-98) - Francisco Javier Martínez-Antonio
8 Re-alignment in the aftermath of war: the League of Red Cross Societies, the Australian Red Cross and its Junior Red Cross in the 1920s - Melanie Oppenheimer
9 The 'British Red Cross still exists', 1947-74: finding a role after the Second World War - Rosemary Cresswell
10 Feed the hungry - no matter what? The Norwegian Red Cross and Biafra, 1967-70 - Eldrid Mageli

Part III: The Red Cross' modus operandi
11 'A Cog in the Great Wheel of Mercy': the New Zealand Red Cross and the International Red Cross movement - Margaret Tennant
12 Coming of age in the crucible of war: The First World War and the expansion of the Canadian Red Cross Society's humanitarian vision - Sarah Glassford
13 The 1938 International Committee of the Red Cross Conference: Humanitarian diplomacy and the cultures of appeasement in Britain - Rebecca Gill
14 '£50,000 is too small a fine to pay': the British Red Cross and the Spanish refugees of 1939 - Kerrie Holloway
15 The British Red Cross Society and the 'parcels crisis' of 1940-1 - Neville Wylie
16 The Red Cross in wartime Macau and its global connections - Helena F.S. Lopes
17 A humanitarian and national obligation: a comparison between the Dutch Red Cross, 1940-5, and the Dutch East-Indies Red Cross, 1942-50 - Leo van Bergen


Neville Wylie is Deputy Principal and Professor of International History at the University of Stirling

Melanie Oppenheimer is Professor and Chair of History at Flinders University

James Crossland is a Senior Lecturer in History at Liverpool John Moores University

The Red Cross Movement

Edited by Neville Wylie, Melanie Oppenheimer, James Crossland

Hardcover £90.00 / $140.00

Or buy from your preferred bookseller:

Amazon Waterstones Blackwells

Click here for North and South America

Newsletter Sign Up

Manchester University Press

Your cart is empty.

Select your shipping destination to estimate postage costs

(Based on standard shipping costs)

Final cost calculated on checkout
Promotional codes can be added on Checkout