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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Chouliaraki (2013) has argued that today’s post-humanitarianism is grounded on empathy – including the ability of aid workers or the public to understand and emotionally associate with the experiences of the disaster-affected. This post-humanist privileging of the subconscious also changes how poverty and exposure to disaster are perceived. Rather than demanding political change, vulnerability becomes a direct or unmediated experience characteristic of the life-world of the person concerned. Just as important as material aid, if not more so, is fast

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
An Excerpt from Bill V. Mullen’s New Biography, James Baldwin: Living in Fire, and an Interview with the Author

This excerpt from James Baldwin: Living in Fire details a key juncture in Baldwin’s life, 1957–59, when he was transformed by a visit to the South to write about the civil rights movement while grappling with the meaning of the Algerian Revolution. The excerpt shows Baldwin understanding black and Arab liberation struggles as simultaneous and parallel moments in the rise of Third World, anti-colonial and anti-racist U.S. politics. It also shows Baldwin’s emotional and psychological vulnerability to repressive state violence experienced by black and Arab citizens in the U.S., France, and Algiers.

James Baldwin Review
The Experience of Dislocated Listening

“It is only in his music [. . .] that the Negro in America has been able to tell his story. It is a story which otherwise has yet to be told and which no American is prepared to hear,” so wrote James Baldwin in “Many Thousands Gone.” Throughout his career, James Baldwin returned to this incomprehension of African-American experience. He continually privileged music in his literature, crafting his own literary blues to address it. Baldwin’s blues resonated even more powerfully and painfully for its emotional and geographical dislocation. In this article, Rashida K. Braggs argues that it was the combination of music, word, and migration that prompted Baldwin’s own deeper understanding. Exploring her term dislocated listening, Braggs investigates how listening to music while willfully dislocated from one’s cultural home prompts a deeper understanding of African-American experience. The distance disconcerts, leaving one more vulnerable, while music impels the reader, audience, and even Baldwin to identify with some harsh realities of African-American experience. Baldwin evokes the experience of dislocated listening in his life and in “Sonny’s Blues.” Braggs also creates an experience of dislocated listening through her video performance of Baldwin’s words, thus attempting to draw the reader as well into a more attuned understanding of African-American experience.

James Baldwin Review
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

implementation of humanitarian organisations’ social missions. The Distinction between ‘Staff Security’ and ‘Civilian Protection’ in Policy and Practice The grey literature on civilian protection identifies threat reduction and vulnerability reduction as protection objectives ( IASC, 2016 : 3; Slim and Bonwick, 2005 : 52–3). Threat-reduction strategies aim to change the behaviour of those who would perpetrate violence, while vulnerability-reduction strategies implicitly accept

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local

campaign, I outline how it simultaneously highlights the vulnerability and ‘worthiness’ of certain groups of Palestinian refugees (a well-worn, and equally critiqued, fundraising strategy) while also centralising certain Palestinians’ agency and rights. Considering hypervisibility and invisibility ( Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, 2016a ), I argue that the international campaign’s celebration of specific groups of Palestinian refugees and its prioritisation of communication with international audiences simultaneously dismisses the roles and rights of diverse groups

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Building High-tech Castles in the Air?

even be nationals of that host country is fraught with difficulty. Paper records in this setting have their own challenges; however, electronic records and the ease with which data can be stored and transported is a whole other realm. To tread this path without robust safeguards and specialist input could lead a team and their data to be very vulnerable. This piece does not seek to provide an answer to how best to handle medical documentation in disasters. It simply asks us to pause and think more deeply

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

procedures (night raids) that raises questions about potentially repressive aspects of contemporary humanitarian use of wearables. According to UNHCR, wristbands identify each individual claiming to be a refugee, limit the recycling of the refugee population, serve as distribution ‘cards’ and give everyone better access to food and other assistance. They are, then, a tool for protecting the most vulnerable ( UNHCR, n.d.a ). Wristbands are considered to be a comparatively low-tech, low-cost, low

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation

increasing, along with deliberate targeting of humanitarian workers, operations and inventory used to help people trapped in conflict ( Fouad et al. , 2017 ; Stoddard et al. , 2017 ; Stoddard et al. , 2018 ). Amplifying this instability has been the slow progress towards changing the vulnerability of people living in many countries. Notwithstanding advances made in Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets, an estimated 736 million people remained in extreme poverty

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

the same conclusions in a series of studies on humanitarian space ( Collinson and Elhawary, 2012 ) and humanitarian negotiations, particularly in Afghanistan, Sudan and Somalia ( Jackson, 2014 ; Jackson and Giustozzi, 2012 ). In 2014, Larissa Fast published Aid in Danger ( Fast, 2014 ), a timely book reminding humanitarian organisations of their responsibility to work on internal vulnerabilities, such as individual behaviour or organisational lapses. Fast’s main intention was to challenge what she

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Planned Obsolescence of Medical Humanitarian Missions: An Interview with Tony Redmond, Professor and Practitioner of International Emergency Medicine and Co-founder of HCRI and UK-Med

the poor who suffer the worst. Whether it is in a typhoon-prone or earthquake-prone area, look where the rich people live and look where the poorer people live and see who lives in the most vulnerable areas and the most vulnerable buildings. The British Medical Journal banned the word ‘accident’, as most injuries and their precipitating events are both predictable and preventable. So too are disasters, and ‘natural’ can usefully be discarded as an accompanying epithet

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs