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Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

tribes that … follow their brute instincts without a second thought, while civilized nations … seek to humanize it’ ( Moynier, 1888 ). This goes to show that humanitarian principles, far from being a timeless good, are not immune to prevailing stereotypes or political power relationships. As a treaty aimed at an emblematic nineteenth-century battle was being signed, the conflicts and massacres of civil wars and imperial conquests were foreshadowing the twentieth century’s mechanised and industrialised total wars. Dunant himself anticipated the evolution of armed

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs