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Brendan T. Lawson

Introduction Quantification is an essential component of contemporary humanitarianism. It has manifested most clearly in the proliferation of indexes, metrics, indicators and rankings across the humanitarian sector: CATO’s Human Freedom Index rates each country on a scale of 0–10 to judge the freedom they allow their citizens, the UN’s Integrated Phase Classification categorises countries’ food insecurity into five quantitatively-based tiers to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
H. R. French
R. W. Hoyle

6 The land market quantified For all the richness of English property records, describing the changing possession of land and the operation of early modern land markets is far from easy.1 The lack of any central registration of land titles or cadastres describing the ownership and occupation of land for taxation purposes deprives historians of systematic records. For these and other reasons historians have come to rely on copyhold land transactions. Here, the manorial court acts as a registry of conveyances, and provides a means of entry into the land market

in The character of English rural society
Heather Alexander

Over the last few years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched a series of statelessness mapping projects to identify and, in some cases, quantify statelessness in countries around the world. The population of a country is surveyed during a statelessness mapping project, along with its legal framework and civil identity systems

in Statelessness, governance, and the problem of citizenship
A Case Study of the Irish Film Board 1993–2013
Roddy Flynn
Tony Tracy

This article sets out to reinvigorate national cinema studies in an Irish context through a quantitative analysis of films financed by the Irish Film Board between 1993 and 2013. In constructing and coding a database of titles produced with the aid of state finance during this period, the authors argue for a methodology that broadens the inductive approaches of textual analysis that have dominated discussions of Irish cinema to date. By establishing recurring genres, narrative patterns, themes and character types present in IFB-funded films during this period, this article demonstrates how the professional objectives of IFB personnel have shaped institutional funding outcomes.

Film Studies
Matthias Maass

2 Defining and quantifying the small state Counting the great powers of an era [is very easy]. … The question is an empirical one, and common sense can answer it.1 No consensus definition of the small state exists. However, a proper understanding of the small state is critical to this study for four reasons: analytical clarity and transparency, the proper usage of statistical data, the applied theoretical framework, and the historical component of the investigation. First, calling for a proper understanding of the object of a scholarly inquiry is stating the

in Small states in world politics
Louise Beaumais

referred to as ‘evidence-based humanitarianism’ (EBH), is not new. In fact, it is one of the reasons why quantification pervaded the humanitarian field in the first place, notably through the ‘need-system’. Yet, the hope associated with the use of quantitative data has clearly grown these last few years, and a more innovative and extensive EBH has been encouraged. The expansion of EBH relies on two main elements. First, as mentioned by Mark Lowcock, technological advances are

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanity and Solidarity
Tanja R. Müller
Róisín Read

so move beyond what has been called the post-humanitarian age where solidarity has become a form of irony ( Chouliaraki, 2011 ). The second review article, by Lawson, centred around Joël Glasman’s recent book Humanitarianism and the Quantification of Human Needs: Minimal Humanity , picks up on the debates about evidence-based action and the numbers which have come to underlie it. Exploring the body of literature that has emerged to critically engage with quantification in the humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Joël Glasman
Brendan Lawson

the technical aspect of numbers, dealing with a central question: how well does the quantitative represent reality? The answer, for the positivists, lies in the appraisal of accuracy, reliability and validity. In doing so, there is a keen attention on the discrepancy between the figures we see and the reality that is quantified. Humanitarian numbers are fertile ground for such a critique, whether it is Olivier Bakewell’s (1999) claim that refugee statistics are

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
How IPC Data is Communicated through the Media to Trigger Emergency Responses
François Enten

nutrition insecurity by country, and quantifying the gravity of crises. Once officially published, these data are relayed through humanitarian communication channels and by national and international media. On the one hand, the main argument of the article shows how the IPC is an expert, evolving and perfectible system. Indeed, while famine diagnoses have long been subject to political and media games, due to the absence of an objective framework, the IPC

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

, track, quantify and monitor the physical bodies of populations affected by disaster and conflict, although these populations have little say or control over them ( Lupton, 2015 ). Humanitarian technology has become a field of considerable scholarly interest, and this raises many issues with respect to the ‘do no harm’ aspect of humanitarian aid ( Sandvik et al. , 2017 ), what it means to be neutral ( Sandvik et al. , 2014 ), the proper role and relevance

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs