International Relations

Corporations, Celebrities and the Construction of the Entrepreneurial Refugee Woman
Annika Bergman Rosamond and Catia Gregoratti

In this article we seek to extend recent debates on how the promotion of self-reliance through vocational training and entrepreneurship has become the new neoliberal mantra among refugee-supporting agencies, policymakers and humanitarian actors. More specifically, we do so in the context of corporate and celebrity-endorsed humanitarian partnerships and initiatives that single out refugee women and girls. Informed by postcolonial feminist scholarship and guided by Carol Bacchi’s ‘what is the problem represented to be’ (WPR) approach we compare IKEA’s partnership with the Jordan River Foundation (JRF) in Jordan and Angelina Jolie’s support for the RefuSHE project in Kenya. While differences between the two problem representations exist, both initiatives seek to empower refugee women by activating latent entrepreneurial abilities. These, we conclude, reinforce a saviour/saved humanitarian logic while also obscuring the gender division of responsibilities and precarious nature of artisanal labour.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lorena De Vita

In 1962 Gamal Abdel Nasser revealed four Egyptian-made missiles on the occasion of the tenth anniversary parade of the Egyptian revolution. Much of the Israeli foreign intelligence service’s attention started focusing on the German scientists who, by collaborating with Egypt, seemed to have played a crucial role in the development of the missiles. The Israelis thus began pressuring Bonn to remove the scientists from their Egyptian posts. Reviewing the internal discussions within the East and West German governmental and intelligence establishments, the chapter contextualises the episode of the German scientists in Egypt within the broader framework of German–German and Arab–Israeli relations. Instead of giving in to the Israeli requests, many in Bonn emphasised the importance of dealing with the issue of the scientists in a way that would not negatively influence the stance of the Arab states on the German question. The majority of West German policy-makers were wary of losing Egyptian support before the upcoming non-aligned conference in Cairo, scheduled for September 1964. And, paradoxically, GDR representatives began seeing points of overlap between Israeli and East German interests.

in Israelpolitik
The Aid Industry and the ‘Me Too’ Movement
Charlotte Lydia Riley

In 2018, the global #MeToo movement turned its attention to the aid industry, after scandals at Oxfam and Save the Children highlighted the sexual harassment, abuse and assault prevalent in the sector. This article explores #MeToo in the context of the aid industry (informally known by many participants as #AidToo), particularly within a British context. The article argues that the aid industry exists in a historical, social and political space that is particularly volatile. The abusive behaviour of men in the sector is shaped and enabled by race, class and gender inequalities, which undermine many of the stated aims of international aid programmes. The humanitarian and development aid sector will not eradicate this behaviour until it recognises how it is enabled and encouraged by these inequalities. The article argues that the aid sector needs to develop an ethical code of conduct around sexual relationships, harassment and abuse that recognises power inequalities within the sector and seeks to protect vulnerable individuals.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Megan Daigle, Sarah Martin, and Henri Myrttinen

Humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work has become increasingly dangerous in recent decades. The securitisation of aid has been critiqued, alongside the racialised and gendered dynamics of security provision for aid actors. What has received less attention is how a range of intersectional marginalisations – gender, racialisation, sexuality, nationality and disability – play out in constructions of security, danger and fear in aid deployments. Focusing on sexual harassment, abuse and violence as threats to safety and security, the article examines how in training and guidance for deployment to ‘the field’ (itself a problematically securitised notion), danger is projected onto sexualised and racialised ‘locals’, often overlooking the potentially far greater threat from colleagues. Here, we employ a review of security guidance, social media groups, interviews with aid staffers and reflections on our own experiences to explore how colonialist notions of security and ‘stranger danger’ play out in training. We argue that humanitarianism is still dominated by the romanticised figure of the white, male humanitarian worker – even if this problematic imaginary no longer reflects reality – and a space where those questioning exclusionary constructs of danger are quickly silenced and even ridiculed, even in the age of #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter.

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Lorena De Vita

The unexpected capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann drew widespread attention in both East and West Germany and opens the final section of the book. In June 1962, in a meeting with the Israeli Defence Minister Shimon Peres, Chancellor Adenauer expressed his gratitude for the ‘correct and honourable way’ in which the ‘Eichmann problem’ had been dealt with. As Adenauer’s words to Peres indicate, the Eichmann affair had stirred a sense of unease, and worry, in the FRG. Both German states sent officials to Jerusalem tasked with ensuring that the trial would not have negative repercussions on their international image and prestige – or, in the East German case, to actively try and mould the trial into a political tool to wage against their Cold War opponent.

in Israelpolitik
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Lorena De Vita

The Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel eventually established official diplomatic relations in 1965. This chapter challenges the familiar definition of 1965 as a moment of unprecedented harmony in West German–Israeli relations (when ‘two dancers finally begin dancing to the same tune’, to use one image employed in the existing historiography). In fact, there were such low expectations about the future of the newly established diplomatic mission in Israel that the initial location where the West German delegation set up its office was the Sheraton Hotel in Tel Aviv – so as to be ready to pack up and leave at any moment. Yet the embassy remained in place and its employees witnessed one of the most significant developments in the history of the modern Middle East: The Six-Day War. As previously neglected primary sources from the East German intelligence services (Stasi) and the Soviet Foreign Ministry show, the war further complicated the debate both on the role of the two Germanys in the Middle East, and in the international arena more broadly. Two years later, in 1969, the GDR and five Arab countries – Egypt, Iraq, Sudan, Syria and South Yemen – established diplomatic relations.

in Israelpolitik
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Charles T. Hunt

This chapter explores the salience of complexity theory, a relative newcomer to International Relations theory, to the study of UN peacekeeping. It demonstrates how the central tenets of complexity theory provide a valuable alternative framework for making sense of the existence as well as the effects of UN peacekeeping. The chapter highlights the importance of studying the UN peacekeeping machine as a complex social system that has idiosyncratic behaviours, some of which are antithetical to understanding through the exclusive application of simple logics and theories underpinned by linear philosophies. It focuses in particular on its value for understanding UN peacekeeping operations that are part of conflict and peacebuilding systems in highly dynamic and nonlinear environments. Drawing on the study of the UN peacekeeping system as a whole, it shows that thinking in terms of complex adaptive systems can provide important insights into the production of UN peacekeeping through global politics as well as their operation in practice. The chapter concludes by pointing to the potential of complexity theory in understanding the ways that the UN can become part of the conflict systems it seeks to manage and transform.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
International Relations theory and the study of UN peace operations
Mats Berdal

UN peace operations have, since their inception, touched on core issues and concepts at the heart of the study of international relations: conflict and cooperation; sovereignty and intervention; norms and norm diffusion; the use and utility of military force; and the changing character of armed conflict. To study UN peacekeeping, therefore, is also to study international politics and, by extension, to engage in debates about the bases for international order and the prospects for international society. Although the scope and scale of UN peace operations have evolved over time, the study of UN operations needs to factor in not just discontinuities but also important elements of continuity in the history and practice of UN peacekeeping. The experience of UN operations is rich, diverse, and multilayered. The investigation and deeper understanding of that experience are certain to benefit – as the present volume demonstrates – from the application of different theoretical lenses and a range of methodological tools.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
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Marion Laurence and Emily Paddon Rhoads

This chapter describes constructivism’s distinguishing features and how it has informed existing research on UN peacekeeping. Focusing on core constructivist concepts like norms, culture, and identity, the chapter explains that peacekeeping scholars within this approach tend to focus on ideational influences emanating from outside the UN system or on the role of intersubjective knowledge within the UN. The chapter then draws on evidence from the UN mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) to identify areas where constructivism can further improve our understanding of UN peace operations. These include the process by which peacekeepers interpret and implement norms at the micro level; the ways in which peace operations reshape local norms, identities, and cultures, and vice versa; and, finally, the relationship between contemporary peacekeeping practices and shifting normative and political dynamics at the macro level.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
Lucile Maertens

This chapter explores what a critical approach to UN peacekeeping entails and highlights the valuable contributions of Critical Security Studies (CSS) to capture the nature and significance of peace operations in international politics. It shows how CSS questions the values and representations that inform UN peacekeeping and the political order that peacekeeping interventions shape, promote, or sustain. It further discusses how CSS unpacks peacekeeping (often mundane and daily) practices and their political and social implications and takes into account non-traditional security issues. The chapter then relies on CSS theoretical and methodological tools to study the specific case of the rise of environmental practices in UN peacekeeping. Drawing on the concepts of securitisation and environmentalisation, it demonstrates how UN peacekeeping has been framed as relevant to environmental policies, while contributing to a broader process of securitisation of the environment.

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory