The impact of the First World War on attitudes to maternal and infant health

‘We must avoid a continued slaughter of the infants as every human life is of national importance.’ So stated prominent barrister Samuel Shannon Millin in 1915, referring to the need to address the appallingly high infant mortality rate in Ireland, at a time when many Irish lives were being lost on the battlefield. 1 In early twentieth

in Medicine, health and Irish experiences of conflict 1914–45
Life struggles, liberal modernity, and the defence of logistical societies

This is a book which aims to overturn existing understandings of the origins and futures of the War on Terror for the purposes of International Relations theory. As the book shows, this is not a war in defence of the integrity of human life against an enemy defined simply by a contradictory will for the destruction of human life as commonly supposed by its liberal advocates. It is a war over the political constitution of life in which the limitations of liberal accounts of humanity are being put to the test if not rejected outright.

Ordinary Intimacies in Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin

This essay reads James Baldwin in conversation with two unexpected interlocutors from the American nineteenth and twentieth centuries: Ralph Waldo Emerson and W. E. B. Du Bois. What draws these historically distant and intellectually different thinkers together, their differences making their convergences all the more resonant and provocative, is a shared mode of attention they bring to the social crises of their eras. It is a mode of attention foregrounding how the often unobserved particulars and emotional registers of human life vitally shape civic existence; more specifically, a mode of attention provoking us to see how “a larger, juster, and fuller future,” in Du Bois’s words, is a matter of the ordinary intimacies and estrangements in which we exist, human connections in all their expressions and suppressions. Emerson names them “facts [. . .] harder to read.” They are “the finer manifestations,” in Du Bois’s terms, “of social life, which history can but mention and which statistics can not count”; “All these things,” Baldwin says, “[. . .] which no chart can tell us.” In effect, from the 1830s to the 1980s these thinkers bear witness to what politics, legislation, and even all our knowledges can address only partially, and to the potentially transformative compensations we might realize in the way we conduct our daily lives. The immediate relevance and urgency this essay finds in their work exists not in proposed political actions, programs for reform, or systematic theories of social justice but in the way their words revitalize the ethical question “How shall I live?” Accumulative and suggestive rather than systematically comparative or polemical, this essay attempts to engage with Emerson, Du Bois, and Baldwin intimately, to proceed in the spirit of their commitment to questioning received disciplines, languages, and ways of inhabiting the world.

James Baldwin Review
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

entitled L’Avenir sanglant (the bloody future). We know what happened to humanitarian norms during what historian Eric Hobsbawm dubbed the ‘age of extremes’, with its colonial massacres, world wars, genocides, civil wars and concentration camps. If there was ever a time in history where there was no regard for either the principle of mercy or the value of human life, it was the ‘short twentieth century’ (1914–91) – far more than the last thirty years. The

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

power. Neutrality asserts that killing one’s opponents in this way, simply because they oppose you, is forbidden and, crucially, that all those playing the game are supposed to agree it is forbidden. Not killing your opponents is one of the rules. However much this has been ignored in practice, by almost all states at one time or another, the fact remains that for liberal world order this has been a foundational rule. Without a consensus on respect in principle for each individual human life and for that person’s own interests and projects

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation

in crisis. The first context dynamic is the deterioration of the physical environment and damage to natural ecosystems which maintain human life and on which the humanitarian response system relies to rebuild sustainable livelihoods and resilience. Human activity has so damaged the planet’s ecosystems that deforestation, freshwater degradation, ocean acidification, environmental pollution and biodiversity loss are singularly and cumulatively causing unprecedented and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

–8). Specifically, I argue that the biopolitical underpinnings of new technologies of warfare institute a hierarchical relationship between humans and the technologies they become fused with, whereby technology becomes a necessary means in the pursuit of improving and protecting human life. Moreover, technology acquires an authoritative dimension as superior rational and functional entity to which humans become inadequate in their functioning. This applies not only to

in Death machines
Abstract only
Blake, Milton, and Lovecraft in Ridley Scott's Prometheus

foolishness, one criticism of the film by a variety of commentators at its release is flawed precisely because it depends on philosophies that undermine or overmine the actual contents of the film. A common complaint was that Prometheus raised questions that it failed to answer, particularly with regard to the origins of both human life and the xenomorph of the original Alien movie. As Damon Lindelof pointed out, Prometheus could not be

in William Blake's Gothic imagination
Abstract only

. It is no accident that similar physico-reductionist views of humanity are propounded today, in manically capitalist societies that demand that everything be subordinated to commodity production and consumption, that people should therefore not waste their time studying useless subjects such as the humanities, the real and only point of human life being, in fact, getting and

in The Renaissance of emotion
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Concluding remarks

Sitcom, may be regarded as an astonishingly coherent set of cinematic essays on the radical transformation of human life, treated in a variety of different ways, ranging quite literally from the sublime to the ridiculous. Whether the prey of a magical rat or a mysterious ogre, as in the early features, or struggling with the various deaths and desertions that have dogged Ozon’s cinema since Sous le sable, Ozon’s protagonists

in François Ozon