An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse

depoliticising effect. SOS is an emergency initiative that nonetheless provides opportunity for people who seek to engage politically. JF: The arrival of more than one and a half million refugees and migrants on the shores of Europe since 2015 has tested the idea of a ‘humanitarian Europe’. It has tested the self-identity of many Europeans. To what extent do these younger activists see their political engagement as part of a struggle against ethno-nationalisms to define European identity? CAS: Switzerland is interesting in this regard. During the Yugoslav

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

worldview – where the suffering of strangers is a matter of concern, and a legitimate ground for principled intervention, for everyone – that humanitarianism and human rights enjoy full legitimacy. They are both morally grounded by the same ends, ends that have thrived under US-led liberal order for four decades (reaching their zenith from 1991 to 2011). During this time, both humanitarianism and human rights have provided a seemingly non-political (or perhaps ‘political’ not ‘Political’) outlet for religious and secular activists, many from the left

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

groups to respond to crises; it can cause confusion that leads audiences to ‘turn off’, not knowing who to trust; and it can play directly into the hands of those who would discredit journalists and activists. It is not clear exactly how online technologies will evolve and reshape humanitarian communications in the future. But we know that, in our new information ecology, trust is more vital than ever before. We must support media institutions and citizens as they seek out trustworthy sources. Bibliography Allcott , H. and Gentzkow

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

. Legal obligations and political opportunities can account for some of the differences but do not tell the whole story. Other differences are best explained as a consequence of differential tolerance of casualties. Distinct Threats and Vulnerabilities Different categories of civilians face different threats in different contexts and may be characterised by different vulnerabilities. For example, land activists have been particularly targeted in Colombia, and women are at greater risk of sexual violence than men in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Within the category

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Despite the imperative for change in a world of persistent inequality, racism, oppression and violence, difficulties arise once we try to bring about a transformation. As scholars, students and activists, we may want to change the world, but we are not separate, looking in, but rather part of the world ourselves. The book demonstrates that we are not in control: with all our academic rigour, we cannot know with certainty why the world is the way it is, or what impact our actions will have. It asks what we are to do, if this is the case, and engages with our desire to seek change. Chapters scrutinise the role of intellectuals, experts and activists in famine aid, the Iraq war, humanitarianism and intervention, traumatic memory, enforced disappearance, and the Grenfell Tower fire, and examine the fantasy of security, contemporary notions of time, space and materiality, and ideas of the human and sentience. Plays and films by Michael Frayn, Chris Marker and Patricio Guzmán are considered, and autobiographical narrative accounts probe the author’s life and background. The book argues that although we might need to traverse the fantasy of certainty and security, we do not need to give up on hope.

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Religion and spirituality in environmental direct action

and the secular in this movement, in the context of a critique, broadly shared within the movement, of mainstream Western religion as hierarchical and ecologically malign. Thirdly, drawing on detailed qualitative research regarding environmental direct activists in the 1990s,1 we argue that, despite these struggles over religion, activists routinely draw on cultural resources in order to give meaning to their values, identities and actions in forms that are – sometimes implicitly, sometimes explicitly – religious in nature. We explore the uses of this ‘de

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)

political activists to cope with the burdens which contemporary Western societies bestow upon the individual. Their discussion of how activists involved in direct action protest utilise discourses of nature and spirituality as ‘resources’ to try to forge a more ‘holistic’ sense of Self is important in a number of respects. Firstly, it shows the complex nature of social movement culture, particularly the kind of affective dimensions that theorists frequently ignore. Secondly and relatedly, it counters the charge sometimes made by more ‘traditional’ anarchists that

in Changing anarchism

Harold Wilson’s government further tightened controls and in 1968 it prevented large numbers of Kenyan Asians entering the country. While two Race Relations Acts, meant to discourage discrimination based on colour, accompanied these measures, most authorities consider them palliatives, drafted to salve Labour’s troubled conscience as ministers adhered to an essentially racist immigration policy.2 While in 1960 their party formally embraced a universal ‘brotherhood’, something the 1964–70 governments supposedly betrayed, many working-class activists nonetheless followed

in The Labour Governments 1964–70 volume 1
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Why anarchism still matters

Western activists to flock, like so many did to join the International Brigades in Spain in 1936, to participate in a complex struggle between indigenous cultures, national interests and international corporate power that anarchism still matters. When children on the streets of Delhi empower themselves through alternative education, squatters create their ‘occasional cafés’ in English cities such as Manchester and Leeds, needle exchange schemes flout repressive drug laws in the USA and Australia, then theories of self-organisation and mutual aid come into their own

in Changing anarchism
Open Access (free)

5 Appealing to women Some months before the 1959 general election, Labour’s keenest women activists were told by one of their leading lights that they needed to accommodate ‘a new generation, with new habits, new interests, and new reactions to the political problems of the day’.1 The result in October appeared to confirm her analysis, as many observers believed a significant cause of Labour’s defeat was its rejection by younger, affluent female voters. If the problem appeared acute in the late 1950s, the party had always found it hard to convince women to vote

in The Labour Governments 1964–70 volume 1