Aid to Armenia

Humanitarianism and intervention from the 1890s to the present

Edited by Joanne Laycock and Francesca Piana

Aid to Armenia


  • eBook

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-4220-7
  • Pages: 216
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £85.00
  • Published Date: September 2020
  • BIC Category: BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development, HISTORY / Modern / 20th Century, International Humanitarian Law, Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000, Reference, information & interdisciplinary subjects / Development studies, Modern History, History, Development and environmental geography, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Treaties
  • Series: Humanitarianism: Key Debates and New Approaches


Interventions on behalf of Armenia and Armenians have come to be identified by scholars and practitioners alike as defining moments in the history of humanitarianism. This volume reassesses these claims, critically examining a range of interventions by governments, international and diasporic organizations, and individuals that aimed to 'save Armenians'.

Drawing on perspectives from a range of disciplines, the chapters trace the evolution of these interventions from the late-nineteenth to the present day, paying particular attention to the aftermaths of the genocide and the upheavals of the post-Soviet period. Geographically, the contributions connect diverse spaces and places - the Caucasus, Russia, the Middle East, Europe, North America, South America, and Australia - revealing shifting transnational networks of aid and intervention. These chapters are followed by reflections from leading scholars in the fields of refugee history and Armenian history, Peter Gatrell and Ronald Grigor Suny.

Aid to Armenia not only offers an innovative exploration into the history of Armenia and Armenians and the history of humanitarianism, but it provides a platform for practitioners to think critically about contemporary humanitarian questions facing Armenia, the South Caucasus region and the wider Armenian diaspora.


'This is the 11th volume in the timely and consistently well-edited series "Humanitarianism: Key Debates and New Approaches." Ten essays, an important introduction, an afterword, and an epilogue present and analyze over a century of humanitarian attempts to help Armenia and Armenians when they were ruled by Ottoman Turkey, Tsarist Russia, and the Soviet Union, or after independence. Some of the best essays are specific and focused, such as Sossie Kasbarian's "Refuge in the 'Homeland,'" about Syrian Armenians seeking shelter and humanitarian help due to the ongoing catastrophe in Syria. Others offer accounts of and draw lessons from countries contributing aid, as in Heitor Loureiro's surprising narrative of attempts to engage Brazil. Vahé Tachjian's thoughtful account of contributions from a major philanthropic organization of the Armenian diaspora helpfully directs attention to non-state sources of assistance. Not all essays can be enumerated, but Asya Darbinyan's rich and compact examination of Russian imperial responses to humanitarian catastrophe achieves a particularly complex task well, pointing out differences between assistance coming from first responders, institutions, and then states. The editors instructively summarize the wealth of actions and discourses that together constitute not just Armenian but all modern humanitarianism in this essential collection.'


Introduction - Jo Laycock and Francesca Piana
1 Humanitarian accountability: Anglo-American relief during the Hamidian massacres, 1894-98 - Stéphanie Prévost
2 Pragmatism and personalities: Etienne Brasil and Brazilian engagement with Armenia, 1912-22 - Heitor Loureiro
3 'An appeal from afar': the challenges of compassion and the Australian humanitarian campaigns for Armenian relief, 1900-30 - Joy Damousi
4 Humanitarian crisis at the Ottoman-Russian border: Russian imperial responses to Armenian refugees of war and genocide, 1914-15 - Asya Darbinyan
5 'Making good' in the Near East: The Smith College Relief Unit, Near East Relief, and visions of Armenian reconstruction, 1919-21 - Rebecca Jinks
6 Care and connections: Orphans, refugees, and Norwegian relief in the Soviet Armenian Republi,c 1922-25 - Inger Marie Okkenhaug
7 Humanitarian Diaspora? The AGBU in Soviet Armenia, 1920-30s - Vahé Tachjian 8 Tremor and change: Humanitarian interventions after the 1988 earthquake in Armenia - Katja Doose
9 Humanitarian intervention meets a de facto state: International peacebuilding consortiums in Nagorny Karabakh, 2003-16 - Laurence Broers
10 Refuge in the 'homeland': The Syrians in Armenia - Sossie Kasbarian
Afterword: Displacement and the humanitarian response to suffering: reflections on aiding Armenia - Peter Gatrell
Epilogue - Ronald Grigor Suny


Jo Laycock is a Senior Lecturer in Modern History at the University of Manchester

Francesca Piana is a Visiting Lecturer at the Global Studies Institute at the University of Geneva

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