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Introduction This strategy is guided by principled realism. It is realist because it acknowledges the central role of power in international politics, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests… We are also realistic and understand that the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress . The White House, ‘National Security Strategy of the United States of America’ ( The White House, 2017 ) The White House published the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

distortions. And as liberal hopes for a pacific and technocratic utopia have taken leave of empirical reality, the assumption of progress has been sustained primarily through myth-making and cognitive gymnastics. Fake news is not the antithesis of liberal truth but its progeny. Nonetheless, the notion of liberal order is useful to the extent that it signals the role of liberal ideas and politics in the consolidation of Western hegemony and, more specifically, the expansion of American power. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four Freedoms, set out in 1941

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

when he told an assembly of relief NGOs that they were a ‘tremendous force multiplier’ for the US military, but even in the Donald Trump administration that sense of things is by no means wholly absent. But if the view from Washington, Brussels, etc. may not have changed that much, the view of Washington, Brussels, etc., most certainly has. For all its bad faith, its selective implementation and, in the battle spaces of the Long War, its instrumentalisation in the service of military strategy, development aid from the US, the EU and other Western

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

misguided but not unexpected results. The quest for efficiency, effectiveness and data-driven strategies has informed aid policy for at least five decades ( Hilton, 2018 ). In the rush to record and justify their actions, however, humanitarians often have little time to reflect on the process of decision-making. They tend to know what decision was made but rarely why that route was taken or what alternative options (if any) were available. This can lead to an underappreciation both of humanitarianism’s nuances and of what we have forgotten, ignored or not measured. It

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local

-approved ‘reforms’. 3 This ‘catastrophic’ decision ( AFP, 2018 ) was widely denounced around the world as a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people ( Bachner, 2018 ; Dumper, 2018 ). By the end of August 2018, when the US Government announced its decision to completely defund UNRWA, commentators identified this as part of a strategy to force Palestinian refugees to rescind the Right of Return to Palestine (a right set out in UNGA Resolution 194). 4 Many noted that undermining the Agency’s capacity to deliver relief and services

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Roland Barthes argued, the reality of photographs, and their guarantee of authenticity, does not rest in the photographs themselves: ‘it is lent by editors and later by viewers who accept the claims made by texts that they are proof of “what-has-been”’ ( Barthes, 1977 : 44). The proposed contract between an event and its truthful representation was hard enough to sustain in the era of traditional, chemical photography, but it has become more difficult in the era of digital photography, in which editing and manipulation of photos is widespread

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

development has been set the task of re-wilding a post-social world. Within the economic logic of precarity, however, the global South has a special place. Able to utilise the relatively unregulated conditions existing there ( Hosein and Nyst, 2013 ), rather than eradicating poverty, the role of humanitarian innovation is to experiment, trial and anticipate the means to govern an emerging global precariat ( Jacobsen, 2015 ). In particular, the challenge is to sustain precarity in the sub-prime conditions of the South by optimising its social reproduction

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South Sudanese Civil War

to come. In Bentiu, the capital of Unity state, MSF-H had ceased its nutritional activities in 2012–13 and invested instead in the treatment of tuberculosis and HIV patients in Bentiu State Hospital, both pathologies requiring long-term and sustained care. In Leer, where it had been independently running the town’s hospital since 2005, the organisation was planning a phased withdrawal and a possible handover of the facility in the next three to five years. 4 Alex de Waal has offered a different interpretation of the events in Jonglei from that of MSF-H ( de Waal

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

ICRC is really the first human rights organisation ( Hopgood, 2013 : chap. 2). We can point to different emphases – the law versus medicine, justice and accountability versus crisis and need – but common to both these strategies for normative action is a commitment to the physical and mental integrity, the existential moral dignity, of all human beings whoever they are and whatever they have done. This is distinctively modern, and liberal, and still something of a heresy in many Western societies let alone beyond. It is only if one shares this

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The dynamics of multilateralism in Eurasia

originally intended.12 Confronted with a relative decline in power, large states often seek to maintain influence by making concessions to prevent defection and balancing by previous allies. Smaller powers may seek to sustain multilateral institutions, but also to adapt them to gain more influence. Moreover, great powers are positioned to lead coalitions with smaller states – which make residual institutions useful in lowering transaction costs. Institutional forms reflecting hegemonic influence can alleviate the security dilemma, because smaller states receive security

in Limiting institutions?