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Raymond Hinnebusch

The divergence of identity and territory: retarded nation-building? In the Westphalian model that European expansion ostensibly globalised, a relative congruence between identity and sovereignty, between nation and state, endows states and the states system with legitimacy. Social mobilisation creates, in modernising societies, receptivity to identification with larger communities – nations – potentially coterminous with a state; in an age of nationalism, such identity communities seek a state and state leaders seek to

in The international politics of the Middle East
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

important in a world whose rules they did not write, allege that human rights and humanitarianism represent the soft-power version of Western modernity, another vector for the transmission of liberal-capitalist values and interests that threatens their hold on national power and resources. China, with its muscular conception of sovereignty and its no-questions-asked relationship with other authoritarian states, leads the way. These non-Western states can hardly be blamed for their scepticism given the degree to which humanitarians often attend crises

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

being a humanitarian worker has never been so complex and dangerous. Many humanitarian narratives are fuelled by the fears of organisations: they see their working space reduced under the joint pressure of states increasingly asserting their sovereignty and of more frequent security incidents due to direct targeting, all happening in the context of widespread erosion of international norms ( Shaheen, 2016 ; Bouchet-Saulnier and Whittall, 2019 ; UN Security Council

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

, then, is that since the end of the Cold War, something comparable has occurred in the inter-state system. ‘Babel syndrome’ has determined the course of international relations for almost three decades, and the story has now reached its climax. Let us explain further. The basic unit of power in the world system in which we live at the beginning of the twenty-first century is still the nation state, with its frontiers clearly delimited and its sovereignty recognised by other members of the system. This inter-state system was formed in Europe

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Arjun Claire

speaking out in public ( Binet, 2005 : 112–13). This was an approach that aimed at improving the plight of populations as opposed to simply expressing indignation, resisting complicity or expressing solidarity. These were the raw shoots of ‘advocacy’ within MSF. A spate of civil wars was also forcing states to reassert their sovereignty, 2 making it a challenge for sans frontières humanitarians to operate. With a more complex operational environment

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

everything in the economic sphere and its disintegration of tradition in the social sphere. Globalisation has uprooted people symbolically as well as materially. A growing ‘impulse’ for social protection has received little response from the receding welfare state. 3 In the absence of an economic resolution, the assertion of cultural sovereignty has become a fuite en arrière – a retreat, to nostalgic fantasies of grandeur, fascistic tropes of national belonging and religious fundamentalisms. 4 Ressentiment has given rise to diverse anti

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design
Mark Duffield

Introduction Drawing its energy from the wave of New Left and counter-cultural radicalism of the 1960s ( Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005 ), an NGO-led direct humanitarian action pushed onto the international stage during the 1970s. The radicalism of this new anti-establishment sans frontières humanitarianism lay in its political challenge to the conventions of Cold War sovereignty. By being there on the ground it sought to hold sovereign power to account, witnessing its excesses while professing a face-to-face humanitarian

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
The Politics of Information and Analysis in Food Security Crises
Daniel Maxwell and Peter Hailey

considerable political influences that prevent or limit good analysis ( Bailey, 2012 ; Buchanan-Smith et al. , 2019 ). Lurking in the background is the age-old humanitarian dilemma of sovereignty: do sovereign states have the sole right to declare crises (and famines) within their own boundaries? What is the role and obligation of the international community? Humanitarian agencies are often caught between waiting for a government or an ‘official’ process to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Marie-Luce Desgrandchamps, Lasse Heerten, Arua Oko Omaka, Kevin O'Sullivan, and Bertrand Taithe

governments provided resources (financial, material or diplomatic) to the Red Cross and the Churches. This allowed them to satisfy the public demand without getting too involved. Kevin: I think that it is useful to think about the Biafran conflict as playing out at the junction of three overlapping trends in post-Second World War international politics. The first is the question of sovereignty. The UNHCR’s refusal to intervene in Biafra is a very good example of how strictly the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Eşref Aksu

the early 1990s exceeded international concerns over sovereignty. Over 300,000 people died in Angola in 1993 in the presence of UNAVEM II, thus making it the second deadliest civil war (after Rwanda) between 1992 and 1996. 2 Yet the international community did not authorise a ‘humanitarian intervention’. Does that mean that the tension between the norms of state

in The United Nations, intra-state peacekeeping and normative change