Hakim Khaldi

Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), under the protection of the US army; the town of Qabassin during ISIL’s rise to power and, lastly, the government-controlled areas around Damascus. This account relates MSF’s work in each of these four areas. Occasional references are made to other MSF operational centres (Belgium, Spain, Holland and Switzerland), which carried out independent relief operations, while endeavouring

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

don’t have the power to make good on whatever has been agreed. And this is assuming major Western governments still believe it to be important to support relief agencies. The political landscape in which the humanitarian movement took current form has changed radically. Even a ‘centrist restoration’ in the US and Europe might not be enough to prevent this movement’s relative decline. In Giuseppe di Lampedusa’s The Leopard , one of the principle characters says of the revolutionary era in which the novel is set: ‘For things to remain the same

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

beyond borders. Yet, UNHCR-endorsed corporate and celebrity humanitarians are located within immense privilege and power, as well as being immersed in the colonial, gendered and capitalist logics of humanitarianism, rather than being wedded to the transformation of the global order and decoloniality ( Bergman Rosamond, 2015 , 2016 ). Directly relevant is also the contention that humanitarian actors, many of whom are located within a neoliberal feminist logic

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

towards migrants. In ‘Myths of Violence’, Brad Evans offers a possible explanation of what motivates solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers in Europe. For Evans, instead of the privilege of absolute power, violence is the outcome of asymmetric freedom, ‘the freedom to punish and destroy … over the freedom to resist or … to flee’. With reference to Gilles Deleuze, he argues that oppression not only denies the rights of the oppressed but restricts their movement. He challenges a conception of ‘the political’ that he feels legitimises the continuation of violence in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

2012 to 2013. The province epitomises Richards’ ( 2005 ) ‘no-peace-no-war’, characterised by ‘stable instability’: cyclical violence with a ‘militarized’ everyday social environment ( Verweijen, 2016 ). A shifting patchwork of over one hundred armed groups operates in eastern DRC – embedded in social and political networks which straddle both ‘state’ and ‘non-state’ spheres ( Verweijen, 2016 : 11). MSF project sites are governed by an array of evolving networks: power is exercised through alliances between actors who ‘partially stand in opposition and partially

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles
Rony Brauman

first effort was the above-mentioned diplomatic conference, which started in 1864. Less than two years had elapsed between the publication of his account and the conference; that is to say, the project had resonated favourably both in the halls of power and in public opinion, and imperial France seemed particularly open to it. The first president of the new humanitarian society was a former officer in Napoleon III’s army: Swiss general Guillaume-Henri Dufour. This serves as a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Law and Politics of Responding to Attacks against Aid Workers
Julia Brooks and Rob Grace

precise, and hence, could be less powerful. Conversely, involving fewer organisations could lead to a more forceful statement but sacrifices the power that could result from speaking with a more expansive, collective voice. Donor dynamics further complicate these issues. For NGOs reliant on donor funds from the same states that might be targets of advocacy, it can be harder to take a forceful stance because these NGOs might perceive that they lack, as one interviewee commented, ‘the ability, or the comfort level, to really speak out’, except in ways that are ‘more

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

attack – both squarely within the model of ‘stranger danger’. However, research on workplace sexual assault in the United States identifies working in isolated contexts, temporary work status, male-dominated jobs and settings with significant power differentials – all relevant to humanitarian work – as conducive to harassment and assault (see Humanitarian Outcomes, 2019b : 17n12). Women aid workers especially face more quotidian forms of harassment and abuse, such as cat

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

-thinking humanitarian action more broadly ( Heerten, 2017 ). In addition, seemingly altruistic technological interventions in humanitarian contexts often go alongside the expansion of state or military power and new mechanisms of surveillance and control ( Jacobsen, 2015 ). More generally, as long as major technological innovations are largely driven or developed by the Global North, they are bound to perpetuate existing global inequalities, as evident, for example, in the field of digital

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

‘reflexivity’: being ‘more open to the need for an awareness of those many “others” whose ways of thinking are so different from ours’ ( Hall, 2017 : 254). For aid workers, it should lead to a greater questioning of the contexts in which the humanitarian sector operates, at headquarters and in the field, as well as the processes that have helped to shaped them and the deep-rooted power relationships that underpin them. We can also read these debates as part of a longer-term trend

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs