Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2016

Publication Citation

23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 567 (2016)


Disasters are globally inflected today in humanitarian assistance, the organizations that support people after disaster and operate globally, and in the mobilization of arguments international human rights arguments. The domestic bureaucratic processes of humanitarian assistance after disaster in the United States do not state these connections; after Hurricane Katrina in the United States, they were most evident in the people and organizations that helped, and in the flow of humanitarian assistance from around the world that paid for assistance. Second, domestic documents for claiming assistance must limit that assistance to people hurt in disaster. That means they assist people who claim to be away from home temporarily and displaced by disaster. Therefore, the documents require that people claim to wish to go home. However, when those who assisted believed return was unlikely, documents also managed expectations about return by asking after practical, material support for returning home, attempting to dampen clients' longing for home. This article relies on interviews and bureaucratic documents used after Katrina to explore global subjectivities for assistance, and the management of emotions.