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A History of Médecins Sans Frontières


Oct 29 2014


5:00 pm - 6:00 pm


Forum for Scholars and Publics

011 Old Chemistry Building, Duke's West Campus Quad

A History of Doctors Without Borders

A History of Médecins Sans Frontières

With Laurence Binet and Robin Kirk

For over twenty years, Laurence Binet has been sifting through the MSF archives. Her in-depth research has been compiled into the Speaking Out Case Studies series, which provides primary source evidence of decisions taken by the group during critical moments such as the Ethiopian famine, Rwanda and Zaire during and after the genocide, Somalia in the early 1990s, Chechnya in the early days of Putin, and others. In a discussion moderated by Robin Kirk, faculty co-chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute, Binet addresses the importance of the case studies for understanding the historical trajectory of MSF as an organization over time. How does a fast-moving and emergency-oriented NGO like MSF make decisions and record its changing policies, interests and growth? How did MSF’s understanding of its own mission change over time? How did its experience in a particular crisis change the way it approached the next crisis? We’ll explore these questions and more.

Free and open to the public. Co-sponsored by the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute.

Read about Laurence Binet’s visit to Duke:

Laurence Binet: Case Studies Help Doctors Without Borders Understand Its History,” Faith and Leadership Today

Case Studies from Ethical Challenges in Humanitarian Medicine,” Duke Today


Laurence Binet

Médecins Sans Frontières

Laurence Binet is the Director of Studies, Fondation MSF for MSF International. After having studied history at University of Caen (France) and international relations at Paris Institute of Political Sciences (France), she worked as a free-lance journalist for the French media for 20 years, while doing casual assignments for Doctors…...

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Robin Kirk

Duke University

Robin Kirk serves as Faculty Co-Chair of the Duke Human Rights Center at the Franklin Humanities Institute and is a founding member of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice, which lifts the legacy of this Durham native to examine the region’s past of slavery, segregation, and continuing…...

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