Demotic humanitarians: Historical perspectives on the global reach of local initiatives, 1940-2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article focuses on over 70 years of demotic humanitarianism from a grassroot perspective. Using the archives of Hudfam and Elizabeth Wilson as well as more recent oral history of local NGOs in the West Yorkshire region of the United Kingdom, this paper seeks to cast a new light on the complex network of humanitarianism local groups enabled. The concept of demotic humanitarians will be used here to denote the modest scale of this work but also the humanitarians self-perception as local agents of internationalism acting within localised networks. From the creation of Hudfam in 1942 (before Oxfam but in Huddersfield) to the birth of Christian African Relief Trust or local partnerships with Ghana, this article shows how entangled in other social and political initiatives demotic humanitarians were.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
JournalThird World Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 31 May 2019