On the return of the Jewish question

Universalism has acted as a stimulus for Jewish emancipation, that is, for civil, political and social inclusion. It has also been a source of anti-Jewish prejudice up to and beyond the classic antisemitism of the modern period. While the experience of Jews is by no means unique in this respect, one of the peculiarities of the 'anti-Judaic' tradition has been to represent Jews in some important regard as the 'other' of the universal: as the personification either of a particularism opposed to the universal, or of a false universalism concealing Jewish self-interest. The former contrasts the particularism of the Jews to the universality of bourgeois civil society. The latter contrasts the bad universalism of the 'rootless cosmopolitan Jew' to the good universalism of whatever universal is advanced: nation, race or class. This book explores debates over Jewish emancipation within the eighteenth-century Enlightenment, contrasting the work of two leading protagonists of Jewish emancipation: Christian von Dohm and Moses Mendelssohn. It discusses the emancipatory power of Karl Marx's critique of Bruno Bauer's opposition to Jewish emancipation and endorsement of The Jewish Question. Marxist debates over the growth of anti-Semitism; Hannah Arendt's critique of three types of Jewish responsiveness--assimilationism, Zionism and cosmopolitanism-- to anti-Semitism; and the endeavours of a leading postwar critical theorist, Jurgen Habermas are also discussed. Finally, the book focuses its critique on left antizionists who threaten to reinstate the Jewish question when they identify Israel and Zionism as the enemies of universalism.

Dispelling Misconceptions about Sexual Violence against Men and Boys in Conflict and Displacement
Heleen Touquet, Sarah Chynoweth, Sarah Martin, Chen Reis, Henri Myrttinen, Philipp Schulz, Lewis Turner, and David Duriesmith

characterise the knowledge base, including in relation to gender- and sexual-nonconforming persons, young people and how to improve service uptake. There is no universal experience of sexual violence for men/boys, just as there is no universal experience for women/girls or for nonbinary people. As research and advocacy on sexual violence against men and boys grows, it must build on the existing evidence, rather than reproducing the misconceptions this piece has addressed

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
James Baldwin and the Ethics of Trauma
Mikko Tuhkanen

This essay proposes that we turn to James Baldwin’s work to assess the cost of, and think alternatives to, the cultures of traumatization whose proliferation one witnesses in contemporary U.S. academia. Beginning with some recent examples, the essay briefly places these cultures into a genealogy of onto-ethics whose contemporary forms arose with the reconfiguration of diasporic histories in the idioms of psychoanalysis and deconstructive philosophy in 1990s trauma theory. Baldwin speaks to the contemporary moment as he considers the outcome of trauma’s perpetuation in an autobiographical scene from “Notes of a Native Son.” In this scene—which restages Bigger Thomas’s murderous compulsion in Native Son—he warns us against embracing one’s traumatization as a mode of negotiating the world. In foregoing what Sarah Schulman has recently called the “duty of repair,” such traumatized engagement prevents all search for the kind of “commonness” whose early articulation can be found in Aristotle’s query after “the common good” (to koinon agathon). With Baldwin, the present essay suggests the urgency of returning to the question of “the common good”: while mindful of past critiques, which have observed in this concept’s deployment a sleight-of-hand by which hegemonic positions universalize their interests, we should work to actualize the unfinished potential of Aristotle’s idea. Baldwin’s work on diasporic modernity provides an indispensable archive for this effort.

James Baldwin Review
José Luís Fiori

, values, ideas and dreams; American values are not universal and, though they should not be compromised, there is no guarantee that they can be universalised through the expansion of markets and democracy; all foreign-policy decisions of the US government must be based on national interest and taken from a position of power – the US must not be an arbiter of conflicts around the world; to maintain its position of power, the US must reassume global leadership in processes of technological innovation

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

ethical positioning that brings into question all forms of violence, most especially the legitimate violence constituted through the force of law. Denying the constituted embodiment of life, lawful violence is dehumanising. This in turn gives rise to claims about the universal rights of humans in international law and its associative laws of war. Violence is the Result of Underdevelopment Domesticated in the shadow of juridical power by the threat of incarceration, critics of the previous position might also point to our shared material gains and sense of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

. ( 1993 ), ‘ Eurocentrism and Modernity (Introduction to the Frankfurt Lectures) ’, Boundary 2 , 20 : 3 , 65 – 76 . Dussel , E. ( 2008 ), Twenty Theses on Politics ( Durham, NC : Duke University Press ). Grosfoguel , R. and Cervantes-Rodriguez , A. M. ( 2002 ), ‘ Introduction: Unthinking Twentieth-century Eurocentric Mythologies: Universal Knowledge, Decolonization, and Developmentalism ’, in Grosfoguel , R. and Cervantes-Rodriguez , A. M. (eds

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Architecture, Building and Humanitarian Innovation
Tom Scott-Smith

concern for profitability and universality. Innovation, however, is not the same as architecture. One might point out that certain generations of architectural modernism fall into the same trap of mechanistic and homogenised mass solutions, yet this is certainly not the central thrust of architectural training, which offers something very different to replicable product design. Architects are meant to design for a particular client, paying detailed attention to the specifics of a site

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Gender Equality and Culture in Humanitarian Action
Ricardo Fal-Dutra Santos

modern conceptualisations of masculinity ( Thornhill, 2012 : 95), and imposing a binary approach to gender and sexuality ( Ihejirika, 2020 ). Empowering Difference Understanding humanitarianism as a culture itself also compels us to acknowledge its particularity. While humanitarianism – and the rights it seeks to uphold – may have been constructed around the idea of a universal subject, the practice of humanitarian action and international

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

Strategy of 2017 proposes that ‘the American way of life cannot be imposed upon others, nor is it the inevitable culmination of progress’ ( White House, 2017: 4 ). Renouncing progressive historical narratives, the Trump administration signals the end of the ‘American century’ and discards the particular universalism that has sustained liberal order. Posing direct, if distinct, challenges to US power, China and Russia do not seek to create an alternative to the multilateral system. On the contrary, they now become defenders of the institutions

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
Juliano Fiori

the blue-collar worker. He perceived that sectors connected to an old-style capitalism were being marginalised by globalisation. JF: So what role will humanitarian ideas and human rights – so prominent in the 1990s in particular – play in international affairs? CA: I think we need to rescue this discourse. Recognising its partiality and inconsistency, I never thought that we should destroy it but rather strengthen it. The Universal Periodic Review of the Human Rights Council was a Brazilian idea! Even before the government of [President Luiz

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs