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Emmanuelle Strub

History Security-risk management has long been a concern at Médecins du Monde (MdM), as it was for other humanitarian agencies operating at the height of the Cold War. However, it was in the 1990s that security had to address its own set of issues. The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the post-Cold War conflicts created safety issues for humanitarian agencies: a booming aid sector led to an increase in exposure, together with a trend for

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

Introduction This strategy is guided by principled realism. It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests… We are also realistic and understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress . The White House, ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ ( The White House, 2017

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada, and Róisín Read

Most mainstream discourses on humanitarian security would not consider the community engagement of a team of anthropologists in three West African countries during the Ebola epidemic of 2014–16 as directly related to security – and their article in this special issue on ‘Security and Protection’ hardly touches on security as its own topic. Instead, it provides a detailed account of the need for a thorough understanding of social relationships when defining, and thus securing, humanitarian

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

international staff deployed in crisis situations, making security incidents more likely purely for statistical reasons. At the same time, the aid sector has seen a marked increase in concern for staff security and organisations’ own ‘duty of care’ to ensure it. The increased risks, both real and perceived, have led the sector to devote more resources to the development of security guidance, pre-deployment training (commonly known as hostile environment awareness training, or HEAT

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs is an exciting, new open access journal hosted jointly by The Humanitarian Affairs Team at Save the Children UK, and Centre de Réflexion sur l’Action et les Savoirs Humanitaires MSF (Paris) and the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute at the University of Manchester. It will contribute to current thinking around humanitarian governance, policy and practice with academic rigour and political courage. The journal will challenge contributors and readers to think critically about humanitarian issues that are often approached from reductionist assumptions about what experience and evidence mean. It will cover contemporary, historical, methodological and applied subject matters and will bring together studies, debates and literature reviews. The journal will engage with these through diverse online content, including peer reviewed articles, expert interviews, policy analyses, literature reviews and ‘spotlight’ features.

Our rationale can be summed up as follows: the sector is growing and is facing severe ethical and practical challenges. The Journal of Humanitarian Affairs will provide a space for serious and inter-disciplinary academic and practitioner exchanges on pressing issues of international interest.

The journal aims to be a home and platform for leading thinkers on humanitarian affairs, a place where ideas are floated, controversies are aired and new research is published and scrutinised. Areas in which submissions will be considered include humanitarian financing, migrations and responses, the history of humanitarian aid, failed humanitarian interventions, media representations of humanitarianism, the changing landscape of humanitarianism, the response of states to foreign interventions and critical debates on concepts such as resilience or security.

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

Introduction One morning in Goma, I attended a meeting of the Cercle de la Sécurité : a group of Congolese humanitarians who work in security management for different international NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the province. Although they hold a variety of different job titles, the members perform a common function within their respective organisations: they analyse local security conditions by collecting information about protracted violence and acts of criminality. They form and maintain a network among different local authorities and armed

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

of their operational environments. Indeed, the salience of security management as a policy concern for humanitarian organisations has ballooned in recent decades. The aid industry has directed substantial efforts towards bureaucratising security management ( Schneiker, 2015 ; Beerli, 2018 ), raising the public visibility of the security risks that humanitarians face in the field (see, for example, Action Against Hunger, n.d.), probing the causes of attacks against aid workers ( Stoddard et al. , 2012 , 2017 ), and analysing and debating organisational approaches

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

that appears in the media, which may describe the horrendous conditions in which the hostages are being held and the payment of ransom to criminal and political networks ( Callimachi, 2014a , 2014b ; Kiser, 2013 ). In the end, vital information about the abductions remains the monopoly of the political and criminal networks carrying them out, the aid-organisation crisis units handling them, the private security firms advising them and the intelligence services

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Hakim Khaldi

the chronically ill in an area where the full spectrum of combatants were active: the Free Syrian Army (FSA), Jabhat Nosra (JAN), Ahrar Sham (AS), the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and ISIL. It is usual for MSF to negotiate with any armed groups present in the region in which it wants to operate, whatever their legal status, in order to gain access to the areas under their control and ensure the security of MSF’s operations. These armed groups

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs