IRRC No. 888

An institution standing the test of time? A review of 150 years of the history of the International Committee of the Red Cross

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This article seeks to explain how the ICRC – the oldest international humanitarian organization still in activity – has managed to pass through 150 years of existence. By analysing some key moments in ICRC history and by examining both its inner workings and their interaction with the context within which the organization has functioned over time, this article finds two characteristics that may help explain the ICRC's continuity: its unique specificity and its innovative capacity.

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