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Justin A. Joyce

Recounting the failures of the United States to adequately address the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting on the parade of mendacity that has encapsulated the 45th presidency, and interpreting Baldwin’s call to be responsible to our children, Justin A. Joyce introduces the sixth volume of James Baldwin Review.

James Baldwin Review
Series: Politics Today
Author: Edward Ashbee

The book introduces the principles underpinning the US Constitution and, on the basis of this, surveys core federal institutions: Congress, the presidency, and the US Supreme Court and lower courts. The different chapters outline the defining features of each and introduce some of the core scholarly debates about their powers and performance. The book also considers processes of political participation through elections, parties, and organised interests. It looks, in particular, at the changing nature of voting behaviour, the reasons why electoral turnout levels are comparatively low, and the different reasons why Donald Trump secured the presidency in the 2016 contest. It also considers the character of the party system and claims that organised interests, particularly groups representing those at the highest ends of the income and wealth scales, play a disproportionate role in the US system. The book thereby offers a guide to debates about the democratic ‘health’ of the contemporary US. The final chapter places the study of US politics in a comparative and theoretical context. It suggests that comparative approaches are essential if political developments and processes are to be fully understood. It then considers the value of employing theoretical frameworks in the study of politics and explores the ways in which structural theories, approaches drawing upon representations of political culture, and rational choice perspectives can explain political outcomes.

Rape and Marriage in Go Tell It on the Mountain
Porter Nenon

To consider how James Baldwin resisted racialized notions of sexuality in his first novel, Go Tell It on the Mountain, I employ a number of black feminist critics—including Saidiya Hartman, Patricia Williams, Hortense Spillers, and Patricia Hill Collins—to analyze three under-studied minor characters: Deborah, Esther, and Richard. Those three characters are best understood as figures of heterosexual nonconformity who articulate sophisticated and important critiques of rape and marriage in America at the turn of the twentieth century. Baldwin thus wrote subversive theories of race and sexuality into the margins of the novel, making its style inextricable from its politics. Baldwin’s use of marginal voices was a deft and intentional artistic choice that was emancipatory for his characters and that remains enduringly relevant to American sexual politics. In this particularly polarizing transition from the Obama era to the Donald J. Trump presidency, I revisit Baldwin’s ability to subtly translate political ideas across fault lines like race, nationality, and sex.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Justin A. Joyce

Recalling the insurrectionary violence that descended upon the US Capitol on 6 January 2021, reflecting on the baser instincts left unchecked in America by an absence of common communication and a paradigmatic shift in our media apparatuses, Justin A. Joyce introduces the seventh volume of James Baldwin Review.

James Baldwin Review
José Luís Fiori

) The White House published the new ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ at the end of 2017, as the first year of President Donald Trump’s mandate was coming to an end ( The White House, 2017 ). It is a broad declaration, which defines the principal interests of the US and the actions that will be undertaken to protect national security against every kind of threat, from all over the world. It would be a mistake to treat this as just one more periodic document produced for bureaucratic purposes. The strategy was developed by

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

rewarded with record approval ratings. In Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, a captain of the Army Reserve, was recently elected president; he publicly pays homage to former military dictators and torturers, and his talk of gunning down opponents has provided licence for the spread of political violence. The election of Donald Trump in the US, in November 2016, was a watershed for electoral politics, giving global significance to rightward shifts elsewhere. With Trump in the White House, the US itself has become the greatest threat to the liberal order it

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

of coronavirus cases in real time were not long ago scanning Twitter feeds in dread of the moment when US President Donald Trump would make good on his promise to unleash ‘fire and fury like the world has never seen’. Fortunately for life on earth, two summits, a ‘very beautiful letter’ to Trump from Kim Jong Un and a brief encounter between the two leaders in the Korean Demilitarised Zone appear to have delayed the moment of truth. However, as Nazanin Zadeh-Cummings and Lauren Harris explain in ‘The Impact of Sanctions against North Korea on Humanitarian Aid’, the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

as far as Colin Powell when he told an assembly of relief NGOs that they were a ‘tremendous force multiplier’ for the US military, but even in the Donald Trump administration that sense of things is by no means wholly absent. But if the view from Washington, Brussels, etc. may not have changed that much, the view of Washington, Brussels, etc., most certainly has. For all its bad faith, its selective implementation and, in the battle spaces of the Long War, its instrumentalisation in the service of military strategy, development aid from the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

. F*** News and Disinformation In 2017, 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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

Introduction In October 2016 the New York Review of Books published an article by International Rescue Committee President David Miliband titled ‘The Best Ways to Deal with the Refugee Crisis’. It began with a predictable target. US Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s claims about a ‘tremendous flow’ of Syrian refugees making their way to North America were based in ‘myth, not fact’, Miliband wrote ( Miliband, 2016 ). Not only that: they also

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs