The Global Shelter Imaginary

IKEA Humanitarianism and Rightless Relief

2021
Authors:

Daniel Bertrand Monk and Andrew Herscher

Examines how the humanitarian order advances a message of moral triumph and care while abandoning the dispossessed

From the IKEA Foundation’s Better Shelter to Airbnb’s Open Homes program, the consumer economy has engaged the global refugee crisis with seemingly new tactics that normalize an institutionally sanctioned politics of evasion. Exploring “the global shelter imaginary,” this book charts the ways shelter functions as a form of rightless relief that expels recognition of the rights of the displaced and advances political paradoxes of displacement itself.

Prompted by a growing number of refugees and other displaced people, intersections of design and humanitarianism are proliferating. From the IKEA Foundation’s Better Shelter to Airbnb’s Open Homes program, the consumer economy has engaged the global refugee crisis with seemingly new tactics that normalize an institutionally sanctioned politics of evasion. Exploring “the global shelter imaginary,” this book charts the ways shelter functions as a form of rightless relief that expels recognition of the rights of the displaced and advances political paradoxes of displacement itself.

Daniel Bertrand Monk is professor of geography and Middle Eastern studies at Colgate University.



Andrew Herscher is associate professor of architecture at the University of Michigan.


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