2 International political economy and global social change Political economy is concerned with the historically constituted frameworks or structures within which political and economic activity takes place. It stands back from the apparent fixity of the present to ask how the existing structures came into being and how they may be changing, or how they may be induced to change. In this sense, political economy is critical theory. (Cox, 1995: 32) T he field of IPE is inextricably bound up with understandings of global social transformation. Indeed, for many

in Globalisation contested
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

US of course still faced certain political challenges, but the concepts guiding international relations at this time, authored by the US, were dominant. We would hear about ‘reaching out’ and, later, Obama’s formulation ‘leading from behind’, but always leading. Returning to the main change we see today… of course, there are forces that have been working for a long time… Trump arrives and says: ‘No, I don’t want a global order. I prefer global disorder.’ I am referring here only to what is manifest; I have not yet been able to analyse this change

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

than the past relief efforts it now disavows. Rather than system failure, just as important is that the world has changed. Societies are more fragmented and unequal than before ( Piketty, 2014 ). International space has striated into fast, slow and stopped lanes ( Brown, 2010 ) as debt, precarity and anger have flourished ( Mishra, 2017 ). Rather than correcting past mistakes, humanitarian innovation is embarked on a wholly different project. It is helping create the systems and structures to govern global precarity. Important here is its

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Introduction Citing the celebrated opening sentence of the Communist Manifesto may seem an odd way to begin these modest reflections on the challenges the relief world is confronting, and the graver ones it is likely to confront over the course of the next decade. But just as the spectre of communism was haunting Europe in 1848, a spectre haunts the humanitarian international in 2018 – the spectre of illegitimacy. A disclaimer is immediately necessary: if you believe that the importance of the changes that are taxing the established global order

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, on the impact on Palestinian refugees of US budget cuts under Donald Trump; José Luis Fiori, on the new security strategy of the US and the disavowal of liberal internationalism; David Rieff, on the legitimacy of humanitarian agencies in a changing political landscape; Mel Bunce, on humanitarian communications and ‘fake news’; Celso Amorim, on transformations in global governance and the influence of Southern states; Caroline Abu Sa’Da, on search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean; and Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa, on

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

, but creating a megaphone for prejudice, propaganda, targeted character attacks and the erosion of trust. But these changes, while important, will not have the same far-reaching consequences as the change in the distribution of power in the system as a whole. The three options outlined above – renegotiated global norms, sectarian norms and a norm void – are not mutually exclusive, and we might pass through them in phases or move between them in a less linear fashion. These changes are just the beginning of a world of uncertainty and ambiguity

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

. Eurocentrism has taught us to see the potential end of an era in every relative change in Western power. Thinking about the role of humanitarianism today requires that we don’t reproduce or unwittingly celebrate Western-led order by mourning the end of a history that never actually existed. Given past and present non-Western experiences of liberal order, we might ask: what’s there to mourn? My personal experiences of research and knowledge production regarding humanitarianism have reinforced in me an anti-colonial ethos – an intellectual opposition to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

of their methods into their work practices. Humanitarian History and Policy The impetus for this project came from a growing interest in history within the aid industry. The humanitarian sector’s engagement with its past has expanded significantly since the beginning of the twenty-first century, typified by the Overseas Development Institute’s five-year ‘Global History of Modern Humanitarian Action’ project (2011–15), Médecins sans Frontières’ Speaking Out initiative ( Médecins sans Frontières, n.d. ), its recently released associative history ( Médecins sans

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

theory. It defines strategic objectives and identifies the main rivals of the US, collectively considered to present a threat to the country’s national interests. It sets out four ‘vital national interests’, which are not fundamentally new ( ibid .: 3): 1) the protection of the American people and their way of life; 2) the promotion of economic prosperity and America’s technological leadership; 3) the preservation through force of world peace; 4) the expansion of the global influence of the US. The strategy then identifies the threats to American

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement

Introduction During the 2014 West African Ebola epidemic, an estimated US$ 10 billion was spent to contain the disease in the region and globally. The response brought together multilateral agencies, bilateral partnerships, private enterprises and foundations, local governments and communities. Social mobilisation efforts were pivotal components of the response architecture ( Gillespie et al. , 2016 ; Laverack and Manoncourt, 2015 ; Oxfam International, 2015 ). They relied on grassroots community actors, classic figures of humanitarian work or development

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs