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Editor’s Introduction

authoritarian posturing towards allies and enemies alike now confirm the trend away from liberal internationalism that, despite cosmopolitan rhetoric, was already evident under the presidency of Barack Obama. This trend is not simply part of the secular fluctuation in American foreign policy between idealism and realism: its end is a rupture with the American exceptionalism essential to both traditions. The National Security Strategy of 2017 proposes that ‘the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

development facilitate a way to justify a reality of war, poverty and impunity. As such, an obvious starting point from which to look for resistance is the idealism on which promises are made. These powerful promises seem to be enough to request the population to keep waiting, obeying, paying taxes, providing for themselves and facing repression in return for raising concerns. The implication is that peacebuilding’s discourse rests on people’s aspirations, and not the other way around. To this extent, peacebuilding is hardly Western or liberal, but is better seen as an

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
Constructing security in historical perspective

confrontation’ ( Netanyahu, 2000 : 372). Netanyahu worked assiduously to construct a discursive field whereby land is equated with security, so that, by definition, to give up one entails a diminishment of the other. According to this logic, diplomacy is ‘idealism’ and true security can be attained only through territorial control. ‘Most of the wars’, writes Netanyahu

in Redefining security in the Middle East
Juvenile actors and humanitarian sentiment in the 1940s

Ruth’s ‘sentimental’ idealism (regulations should not prevent her from carrying out her responsibilities) and the inspectors’ objective ‘sense’ (responsibility for children requires regulations), but ultimately, and inevitably, endorses Ruth’s subterfuge. It is this subterfuge, after all, which provides the romantic plot with the conventional element of uncertainty regarding the heroine’s eventual marital happiness. While

in Global humanitarianism and media culture
The United States Peace Corps in the early 1960s

the free world. Recruitment publicity emphasised volunteers’ altruism, whilst omitting details about the work they would do, or why it was needed. One of the earliest official Peace Corps publications, the Peace Corps Fact Book began with the question, ‘Why a Peace Corps?’ As an answer, the Fact Book reaffirmed Western motivations, writing that ‘the Peace Corps idea … has demonstrated a strong appeal to the idealism and

in Global humanitarianism and media culture