The Assistance Industry – Crisis and Change

Part of the Studies in Global Justice book series (JUST, volume 13)


This chapter examines the aid industry in its contemporary form and the basis of the claim that this industry is in crisis. Beginning with an examination of the structure, form, and objectives of this industry, it then moves on to assess the claims that the practices performed are experiencing problems. It examines the nature of these problems – both practical and philosophical. There is a surprising amount of consistency across the empirical literature on key periods and types of events that explain the current sense of crisis. These are examined and used to inform what are termed here as the ‘contemporary circumstances of assistance’. These are the philosophical dimensions which require consideration in ethical deliberations concerning what ought to be done in response to situations of extreme need and suffering. Finally, an outline is provided of the philosophical problems underlying the practical problems that require further attention in later chapters.


Disaster Risk Reduction Development Assistance Ethical Approach Gross National Income Official Development Assistance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Natural SciencesTrinity College DublinDublin 2Ireland

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