Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science

First Advisor

Lee, Martha,


Political Science, International Law and Relations.




This thesis examines the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Neutrality is the primary focus of the thesis, for it is a controversial and complex issue which the ICRC places at the heart of its mandate of humanitarian activity. The controversy surrounding neutrality is not new. Since its inception in 1864, the ICRC has met with criticism concerning its neutral mandate. There has been a general loss of respect for the ICRC neutrality, particularly in cases of civil conflict. ICRC workers are targeted and killed while carrying out their duties, and the neutrality of the Red Cross emblem is currently the source of debate within the organization. This thesis offers new perspectives on the reasons for the apparent lack of respect or recognition of the ICRC's neutrality, and explains why the popular arguments and explanations for this development are lacking. The thesis argues that the popular argument is wrong to argue that war and conflict have changed, and therefore places workers at greater risk. The thesis argues that war itself has not changed, and therefore the popular argument cannot fully explain the attacks on workers, and the loss of respect for the neutral emblem. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1998 .S637. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 39-02, page: 0395. Adviser: Martha Lee. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1998.