Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

Introduction The modern global humanitarian system takes the form it does because it is underpinned by liberal world order, the post-1945 successor to the imperial world of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the global political and economic system the European empires created. Humanitarian space, as we have come to know it in the late twentieth century, is liberal space, even if many of those engaged in humanitarian action would rather not see themselves as liberals. To the extent that there is something constitutively liberal about

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement

between power and population. The cases are presented chronologically in order to align with the history of the West Africa epidemic. In the first case, Sylvain Landry B. Faye details a case from Kolobengou, Guinea, in which Ministry of Health efforts to mobilise traditional and political elites clashed with locally legitimate youth and local leaders over the distribution of Ebola-relief goods. In the second case, from Liberia, Almudena Mari Saez narrates negotiations between community

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

informed contemplation on the political function of IHL and what we can expect from it. The Soldier, the Legal Expert and the Rescuer Let us begin with the first Geneva Convention, the starting point of contemporary IHL; it was signed on 22 August 1864 1 and did not even mention the word ‘humanitarian’. In ten articles occupying two pages, its subject (as reflected by its title) was ‘the amelioration of the condition of the wounded in armies in the field’. It can be summarised in just two

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction All over the globe, fascism, racism and xenophobic nationalism are resurfacing in what we once thought of as ‘respectable’ democracies. Following a particularly bleak weekend at the end of October 2018 (the election of Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil, reports of worsening famine in Yemen, Israeli bombardment of Gaza and the murder of eleven worshippers at a refugee-harbouring synagogue in Pittsburgh), my colleague Dr Sara Salem of the London School of Economics tweeted: ‘It’s difficult watching political scientists scrambling to understand

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

, Collins Dictionary declared ‘fake news’ its word of the year. But most media scholars would prefer the term was removed from the English lexicon, as it is vague and can be deployed to advance a political agenda. Donald Trump famously uses the phrase ‘fake news’ to refer to a wide range of media content that he doesn’t like. And audiences take a similarly broad approach; in focus groups, Nielsen and Graves (2017) find that audiences define ‘fake news’ to include partisan journalism, propaganda and advertising as well as invented stories that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction

underlying ideology but in light of what it may mean to actual beneficiaries. After all, while ‘pure’ humanitarian principles and the autonomy of the humanitarian sector were always a myth, they served an important purpose: in the words of Scott-Smith (2016: 2241) , they helped to ‘distinguish the value-driven sphere of humanitarianism from the interest-driven spheres of politics and profit’. In this special issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action, we look at innovation from a range of angles

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

explain variation over time or across different agencies (see, for example, Bradley, 2016 ; Bradley, forthcoming ; Neuman, 2016a ; Schneiker, 2012 ; Taithe, 2016 ). I draw on this literature to identify likely explanations for the distinction between staff security and civilian protection, which I assess in order to argue that differential political constraints and opportunities are a key factor driving the differences between the two fields of practice. This article also builds on

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

years, several publications have attempted to analyse these discourses critically. In 2011, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) published a book on humanitarian negotiations ( Magone et al ., 2011 ) in which the authors deconstructed ‘declinism’ while emphasising the intrinsically political dimension of aid, the responsibility of aid organisations to establish their work space and the crucial role of negotiations in the implementation of relief operations. Other analysts reached

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

supported (financially and politically) by states and international agencies. Yet in calling for better-informed, long-term decision-making, he nonetheless highlighted the need for a much deeper discussion of the relationship between long-term processes, lessons learnt and the practice of humanitarian aid. At a time of great uncertainty in the world, increased instrumentalisation of humanitarianism and heightened expectations of aid actors to ‘do no harm’ as they prevent

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction This strategy is guided by principled realism. It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests… We are also realistic and understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress . The White House, ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ ( The White House, 2017 ) The White House published the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs