Humanitarian Shame and Redemption: Norwegian Citizens Helping Refugees in Greece | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Humanitarian Shame and Redemption: Norwegian Citizens Helping Refugees in Greece

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Volume 4

Humanitarianism and Security

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Humanitarian Shame and Redemption

Norwegian Citizens Helping Refugees in Greece

Heidi Mogstad

278 pages, 16 ills., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-80539-219-4 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (December 2023)

eISBN 978-1-80539-408-2 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“This is an extremely well-written book, based on exceptionally solid fieldwork and research … it offers a unique, detailed and well-reflected description of this specific humanitarian NGO emerging in the context of the increased numbers of refugees and other migrants arriving in Greece in 2015.” • Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

“An important contribution to the field of critical migration studies and critical humanitarianism. Alongside these fields, with the focus on humanitarian shame by Norwegian volunteers, Mogstad contributes to critical interrogations of Nordic colonialism.” • Anitta Kynsilehto, Tampere Peace Research Institute


Following the 2015 ‘refugee crisis,’ many different actors emerged to contest or mitigate the EU’s border policies. This book explores the birth and trajectory of a Norwegian volunteer organisation “A Drop in the Ocean”, established by a mother of five with no prior experience in humanitarian work. Drawing on eighteen months of ethnographic fieldwork, Heidi Mogstad examines the organisation’s shifting and contested efforts to ‘fill humanitarian gaps’ in Greece while witnessing and shaming the Norwegian public and politicians into action. Moving beyond existing critiques of humanitarian sentiments like pity and compassion, the book focuses specifically on the work of shame and other ‘negative’ emotions.

Heidi Mogstad is a postdoctoral researcher at the Chr. Michelsen Institute in Norway. She holds a PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Cambridge and her research explores people’s lived experiences and contestations of border policies, humanitarianism and war.

Subject: Anthropology (General)Refugee and Migration StudiesSociology
Area: Southern Europe


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