Graduation Year




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Steven Turner, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Charles Guignon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joanne Waugh, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Edward Kissi, Ph.D.


Development, Hegel, Humanitarianism


Despite a legion of criticisms from frustrated and reflective practitioners of humanitarian aid working in Africa and elsewhere, the fundamental problems surrounding NGO aid work persist; a critical mass of westerners are insufficiently receptive to these voices. I will demonstrate that this lack of receptivity is due to a set of implicit and explicit ideological commitments that comprise what I call ‘Charitable Consciousness.’ In this project I will describe the history of humanitarianism in the west, the Hegelian perspective with which to understand this history, and nature and structure of Charitable Consciousness. I will uncover the consequences of inhabiting this ideology and close with suggestions on how to confront and transform this perspective so as to encourage more productive aid work in the Global South.

Included in

Philosophy Commons