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The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is an exciting, new open access journal hosted jointly by The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK, and Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires MSF (Paris) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. It will contribute to current thinking around humanitarian governance, policy and practice with academic rigour and political courage. The journal will challenge contributors and readers to think critically about humanitarian issues that are often approached from reductionist assumptions about what experience and evidence mean. It will cover contemporary, historical, methodological and applied subject matters and will bring together studies, debates and literature reviews. The journal will engage with these through diverse online content, including peer reviewed articles, expert interviews, policy analyses, literature reviews and ‘spotlight’ features.

Our rationale can be summed up as follows: the sector is growing and is facing severe ethical and practical challenges. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs will provide a space for serious and inter-disciplinary academic and practitioner exchanges on pressing issues of international interest.

The journal aims to be a home and platform for leading thinkers on humanitarian affairs, a place where ideas are floated, controversies are aired and new research is published and scrutinised. Areas in which submissions will be considered include humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions and critical debates on concepts such as resilience or security.

Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

white modernist building lit up in the dark, tucked away in a far corner of the Giardini. I ran to take cover. It featured an exhibit called Places for People : a sparse but simply furnished demonstration of real interventions rather than idealistic projections, describing three projects that had worked with refugees to make modest but important improvements to their emergency shelters. The ideas were a refreshing change from the rest of the Biennale because they were so

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Emmanuelle Strub

on the periphery of conflicts to the heart of them. Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Rwanda and the entire Great Lakes region of Africa became particularly high-risk areas for aid workers. It was during the intervention in Somalia in 1992 that the interface between security, operational procedures and humanitarian principles became central for MdM. The political and security climate at the time confined NGOs to urban centres across Somalia, while the looting of humanitarian convoys

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

public-relations and legal responses. More importantly, they can feed into and foster an anti-migrant climate and increase mistrust towards NGOs and their interventions. In addition to these short-term consequences, disinformation may have a profound long-term impact by undermining the trust that citizens place in all sources of information. Research shows that audiences are confused and concerned about disinformation, and they struggle to know which sources of news to trust. A 2018 Pew Centre study found that 42 per cent of Americans believe

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

two means through which Europeans made themselves the protagonists of global history. Europeans then rewrote their history, erasing the mass human suffering they had caused, promoting instead tales of white European innocence ( Wekker, 2016 ), superiority and exceptionalism. In its destruction of life, coloniality might be considered anti-humanitarian, and yet it is characteristic of the liberal humanitarianism whose end we now (prematurely) are invited to mourn. For over two decades, I have been struggling to make sense of humanitarian interventions

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

community actors, classic figures of humanitarian work or development ( Olivier de Sardan, 2005 ): chiefs, women, elders and youths seen as legitimate actors, able to both represent and influence the ‘community’ – that is, to be intermediaries of community engagement between the intervention and local populations. This article shows how both the legitimacy of these actors embodying the response and eventually the intervention itself was contested and negotiated through localised encounters. 1

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

about unintended consequences. Equally, there is a long history of how humanitarian endeavours have played a role in sustaining or exacerbating conflicts, where humanitarians intervened with the best moral and ethical intentions and principles but in the end were arguably pivotal in prolonging suffering, a pertinent example being the then ‘innovative’ humanitarian interventions in the secessionist war in Biafra that ended 50 years ago and has been a milestone in re-thinking humanitarian action

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

worldview – where the suffering of strangers is a matter of concern, and a legitimate ground for principled intervention, for everyone – that humanitarianism and human rights enjoy full legitimacy. They are both morally grounded by the same ends, ends that have thrived under US-led liberal order for four decades (reaching their zenith from 1991 to 2011). During this time, both humanitarianism and human rights have provided a seemingly non-political (or perhaps ‘political’ not ‘Political’) outlet for religious and secular activists, many from the left

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Digital Bodies, Data and Gifts
Kristin Bergtora Sandvik

management and child nutrition to illustrate how tracking devices have been used for control and governance purposes. Section 4 offers an inventory of proposed aid uses of wearables – the central issue here is not present or future uses but what is imagined as possible, appropriate or useful interventions and – crucially – for whom? Section 5 reflects on how wearables challenge our basic understanding of aid as a gift, of who provides resources and of who benefits, as

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

Introduction Despite seventy years of UN programme interventions, the need for global humanitarian assistance has not been greater since the end of the Second World War ( UNHCR, 2016a ). In 2017, more than 201 million people living in 134 countries required humanitarian assistance, with a record 68.5 million people forcibly displaced by violence and conflict ( Development Initiatives, 2018 ; UNHCR, 2017 ). The use of violence and conflict by state and non-state actors towards innocent civilians is

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs