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A veiled threat

I N THE MIDDLE East, security is strongly influenced by politicized forms of fundamental belief systems. This chapter examines the dual role of political Islam, with specific focus on Palestine and the case of Hamas , the Islamic Resistance Movement, in the West Bank and Gaza. In this context, political Islam represents a general rejection of the Arab

in Redefining security in the Middle East

8 Melancholia, Nakba co-memory and the politics of return Introduction In publicising its activities, Zochrot emphasises the shift from denial to Israeli acknowledgement of the Nakba, rightly arguing that denial is no longer tenable. Chapter 7 discussed the performance of co-memory through an analysis of Zochrot’s commemorative practices. This chapter revisits the link between melancholia, race, memory, identity, and politics. Zionist state memory construction involved the creation of myths in the foundation of culture, society and nation (Ohana and Wistrich

in Co-memory and melancholia
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation

When former Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon encouraged the humanitarian sector to innovate and create a new paradigm to respond to people in crisis, the sector answered with an unbridled number of new enterprises and laboratories to create tools, products and new initiatives. As these emerged, so did the reality of the changing complexity of communities in need of humanitarian assistance. The deterioration of the natural physical environment, along with burgeoning population dynamics and threats to humanitarian workers themselves, has tipped the balance of complexity beyond the capability of the system to respond effectively. The humanitarian sector as a whole must urgently commit to reconciling four critical challenges to reinvent itself and its effectiveness: reconciling the meaning of innovation; developing an overarching strategy that addresses the radically changing global context in which communities require assistance; agreeing on an integrated structure to deliver innovation; and addressing how innovation is financed. Unless the sector addresses these four elements, the action and effect of innovation will fail to realise the transformational change necessary, to respond to communities in crisis now and in the future.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Building High-tech Castles in the Air?

Medical documentation poses many challenges in acute emergencies. Time and again, the reflection of those who manage healthcare during a ‘disaster’ involves some reference to poor, inadequate or even absent documentation. The reasons for this are manifold, some of which, it is often argued, would be negated by using technological solutions. Smartphones. Tablets. Laptops. Networks. Many models exist, and yet we have not reached a status quo whereby this single aspect of disaster response is fixed. Should we abandon technology in favour of a traditional paper solution? Perhaps not; however, it seems that the answer may lie somewhere in between. As simple as the problem might seem on the surface, its answer requires thought, investment and practice. And while it is being answered, it is essential to remain mindful of the hazards posed by gathering healthcare data: who owns it? Where will it be stored? How will it be shared? Academics and practitioners are equal guests at the table wherein this challenge is approached.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med

In this interview with editors Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou, Tony Redmond reflects on his long career as a professor and practitioner of international emergency medicine and founder of UK-Med, an NGO that provides international emergency humanitarian medical assistance and which hosts the UK International Emergency Trauma Register (UKIETR) and UK International Emergency Medical Register (UKIEMR). He questions the usefulness of prioritising innovation in medical humanitarianism and advocates aiming for the same duty of care that one would offer in one’s everyday practice at home. In this, Tony is also critical of the term ‘humanitarian space’, as it by definition proclaims an imagined geographical entity where normal rules should not apply.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

pointed out: ‘so natural is the impulse to narrate, so inevitable is the form of narrative for any report of the ways things really happen, that narrativity could appear problematic only in a culture in which it was absent’ (White 1987: 1). Yet despite the continuing rise of discourse analytical approaches the concept of narrative is still viewed with some suspicion in large parts of political science and IR, as there is continued scepticism about how insights from literary studies and narratology are supposed to help answer important questions of (international

in Romantic narratives in international politics

fascination with pirates such as Blackbeard or Klaus Störtebeker, whose stories have become the subjects of films,2 popular festivals3 and beer.4 One may argue that this is indicative of a wider dominant Western cultural romanticized narrative of the pirate. We name baseball teams for example the Pittsburgh Pirates or vote for political parties called the Pirate Party, we buy clothes with pirate motifs and watch Pirates of the Caribbean. ‘Reason tells us that pirates were no more that common criminals, but we still see them as figures of romance. We associate them with

in Romantic narratives in international politics

the core great powers and the international political economy constitutes a dilemma for regional states. The core is both the indispensable source of many crucial resources and of constraints on the autonomy of regional states. The constraining impact of the core ranges from the threat of active military intervention or economic sanctions to the leverage derived from the dependency of regional states, maximised where there is high need and a lack of alternatives for the client state. In extreme cases, foreign policy may be chiefly designed to access economic

in The international politics of the Middle East
Explaining foreign policy variation

What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? The relative explanatory weight carried by domestic politics versus that of the systemic arenas in which states operate is a matter of some dispute between pluralists on the one hand, and realists and structuralists on the other. On the face of it, if the domestic level is determinant, as pluralists tend to argue, different kinds of states should follow different foreign policies and similar ones similar policies. If the systemic level is

in The international politics of the Middle East

’s states and peoples. The second Gulf War The second Gulf War represented a watershed event in the Middle East that sharply underlined how far it is a ‘penetrated system’, its politics a product of interaction between global and local forces. The war, likewise, can only be understood by recourse to variables on multiple ‘levels of analysis’. Regional level conflicts and Iraqi political economy largely explain the Iraqi choices that unleashed the war. However, there would have been no war without global level factors, namely

in The international politics of the Middle East