How Can Humanitarian Analysis, Early Warning and Response Be
Benjamin J. Spatz
Alex de Waal
resources is a less important element in intra-elite competition.
In posing and answering these questions, the intention of this paper is not to
present the PMF as a ‘better’ or ‘stand-alone’ approach
to understanding the dynamics of violent conflict or their humanitarian knock-on
effects. Instead, it is to bring a theory of politics, and in particular a theory of
elite politicalactors and the way they behave when violence and loyalties become
commoditised, to bear on
newcomers or saving those in need from suffering
in Libya or death on the high seas.
But what we have seen in this case bends any concept of ‘public discussion
and debate’ beyond breaking point. In making accusations of collusion
between people smugglers and rescuers, politicalactors advanced a set of false
claims, the factual basis of which was limited to a small handful of ambiguous
incidents which were then read in a tendentious and biased way, without
( Meza and Ciurlo, 2019 ), and in many cases the role of the affected communities ( Aguilera, 2013 ) and the intervention contexts ( Villa et al. , 2017 ) are unknown due to their marked individualistic accent ( Arango, 2021 ). Nonetheless, these studies also recognise their contribution to the emergence of new politicalactors and spaces ( Villa, 2014 ).
According to Manuel Alejandro Moreno and Maria Elena Díaz (2016 : 196), the guiding principles of the psychosocial assistance of the displaced are the ‘recognition of agency and the depathologization of suffering
apolitical, and that falling back on medical data would shield the
organisation’s public statements from being instrumentalised by politicalactors. But today, in places like Syria and Nigeria, simply treating 34
war-wounded patients in the wrong part of the country is considered akin to
treating 34 terrorists and sending them back to the front line. In other words,
data is increasingly interpreted in partisan ways. Data also arguably recasts
shores of the wealthy by keeping those who suffer ‘over
there’. Whatever the reasons, the fact that international and local NGOs are heroically
working to deal with the consequences of disaster and conflict allows the deeper reasons for
inequities of power and money to go unchallenged. It performs the role of alibi, in other words,
for the politicalactors whose foreign-policy choices lie behind many of our major international
For example, for powerful states who had to navigate the end of the Cold War and the renewed
The Labour Party government elected in 1997 pledged to reform the Westminster parliament by modernising the House of Commons and removing the hereditary peers from the House of Lords. Events have consequently demonstrated the deep controversy that accompanies such attempts at institutional reconfiguration, and have highlighted the shifting fault-lines in executive-legislative relations in the UK, as well as the deep complexities surrounding British constitutional politics. The story of parliamentary reform is about the nature of the British political system, about how the government seeks to expand its control over parliament, and about how parliament discharges its duty to scrutinise the executive and hold it to account. This book charts the course of Westminster reform since 1997, but does so by placing it in the context of parliamentary reform pursued in the past, and thus adopts a historical perspective that lends it analytical value. It examines parliamentary reform through the lens of institutional theory, in order not only to describe reform but also to interpret and explain it. The book also draws on extensive interviews conducted with MPs and peers involved in the reform of parliament since 1997, thus offering an insight into how these political actors perceived the reform process in which they played a part. It provides a comprehensive analysis of the trajectory and outcome of the reform of parliament, along with an original interpretation of that reform and its implications.
How can globalisation be studied in a way that transcends the divide between material and ideational accounts? How has it resonated and dominated in different national contexts? What role have national political economies and domestic institutions played in those processes? This book sheds light on these issues by scrutinising the nexus between globalisation and national institutional settings. Refusing to simply take globalisation as a given, it explores how concrete practices by political actors have produced and reproduced the phenomenon of globalisation over time. Drawing on a comparative analysis of discourses, policies and strategies deployed by key institutional actors in Greece and Ireland, the book interrogates the nature of the interplay between global dynamics and domestic politics. In so doing, it offers insights into the emergence of globalisation as a hegemonic discourse, as well as into the theory of hegemonic discourse itself. Indeed, the book invites us to think differently about the nature of globalisation and the hegemonic within world politics and economics by placing human agency back at the forefront of international political economy.
The role of national machineries, as a way to promote the status of women, acquired international relevance during the World Conference on the International Women's Year, in Mexico City in 1975. This book reflects Division for the Advancement of Women's (DAW) long-standing interest in the area of national machineries, bringing together the experiences, research and insights of experts. The first part of the book sets out the major issues facing national machineries at the conceptual level. It reflects upon five aspects of democratization: devolution or decentralization; the role of political parties; monitoring and auditing systems; and the importance of increasing the presence of women within institutions of the state and government. The second part is a comparative analysis and sets out the major issues facing national machineries at the political level. A combination of factors, including civil society, state bodies and political actors, need to come together for national machineries to function effectively in the interest of gender equality. Next comes the 'lessons learned' by national machineries in mainstreaming gender. National machineries should have an achievable agenda, an important part of which must be 'a re-definition of gender issues. The third part contains case studies that build upon the specific experiences of national machineries in different countries. The successful experience of Nordic countries in gender mainstreaming is also discussed.
A constructivist realist critique of idealism and conservative realism
, bravely admitted
the use of deception during the peace process, and this was later used against
them.4 As a result, the pragmatic realism that so successfully drove the peace
process has not been widely recognised and certainly not publicly accepted as
legitimate. The controversy over the Labour Government’s handling of the ‘On
The Runs’ controversy in February 2014 further dramatised the media and
public’s expectation that politicalactors should not use deception. This idealistic and ‘principled’, or ‘moralising’, view of what politics should be contrasts
movement and its arrival on the scene as a weighty politicalactor. It is also the period when it was arguably able to win the most
concessions from the state, culminating in the inclusion of the right to
housing in the constitution and a role for neighbourhood organisations
Building a movement: September 1974 to June 1975
in the management of key aspects of urban politics. Yet the growth of
the urban movement is not solely a response to environmental conditions: the opportunities it took advantage of were at least in part of its
own making; it did not simply