Religious Movements in Humanitarian Issue: The Emergence of Faith-Based Organizations (FBO) in Diplomacy Sphere

Faith-Based Organization (FBO) has a role in humanitarian diplomacy. Its presence brings a new spirit in seeking a form of humanitarian diplomacy. However, the strong role of the nation-state ignored the emergence of FBO in conducting humanitarian diplomacy. Most of the discussions only focus on the diplomacy which is conducted by nation-state for a humanitarian issue. Therefore this paper is presented to discuss the emergence of FBOs as the actor of diplomacy when they conduct a humanitarian activity for a livelihood of the refugees.

Some scholars have recognized the strength of FBOs in establishing relationships with many parties which allows them to collect support, including from government and other NGOs as well as other interna-tional parties who cooperate with this kind of organi-zation (Ferris, 2011: 609–611). This phenomenon gives a description that FBOs also have a role in opening the access so the humanitarian aid can be distributed to the parties that need help (Minear & Smith, 2007: 53–54; Orji, 2011). The way of FBO in conducting negotiation with many parties is evidence that they also have ability as diplomats.

However, to date, there have been only three studies that mention FBO as one of the actors in the field of humanitarian diplomacy alongside the state and secular NGOs. In those studies there is no clear and comprehensive explanation how to perceive the emergence of the FBO as an actor in diplomacy for a humanitarian issue. Regnier (2011) only mentions that there are also humanitarian groups which engaged on the basis of faith while Minear and Smith (2007) added that those groups can be labelled as FBOs. In 2014, Kumesan tried to use the term of FBO and humanitarian diplomacy in her thesis. However, there is no explanation for the emergence of the FBO as the actor of diplomacy in a humanitarian sphere. More-over, she only used the humanitarian diplomacy as a term that takes for granted. Until now, there are no detailed studies about the emergence of FBOs as the non-state actor in the field of humanitarian diplomacy.

Through this paper, the writer want to continue the research done by Minear and Smith, whose argumentation that FBOs are also playing a significant role as actors in humanitarian diplomacy (Minear & Smith, 2007: 53–54). The writer wants to explain how FBO have emerged as the actors of humanitarian diplomacy in particular in supporting the livelihoods of refugees in several places. This paper aims to fill a scholarly gap between analysis of FBOs and about the concept of humanitarian diplomacy.

Author : Fredy Munthe