A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

between power and population. The cases are presented chronologically in order to align with the history of the West Africa epidemic. In the first case, Sylvain Landry B. Faye details a case from Kolobengou, Guinea, in which Ministry of Health efforts to mobilise traditional and political elites clashed with locally legitimate youth and local leaders over the distribution of Ebola-relief goods. In the second case, from Liberia, Almudena Mari Saez narrates negotiations between community

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

of the cosmopolitan ethos, the constructivist efforts to give the lie to Huntington’s allegation that ‘international elites’ are ‘dead souls’ because they lack a nationalist connection and have forgotten ‘the mystic chords of memory’ ( Huntington, 2004 ). 3 Humans need some sense of spirit, belief, meaning , a vision of the future. To do anything at all we must believe it is going to make a difference. Humanitarianism is one response to Max Weber’s claim that the iron cage of rationality would rob moderns of their enchantment ( Hopgood

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

. 4 Alex de Waal has offered a different interpretation of the events in Jonglei from that of MSF-H ( de Waal, 2014 ). Looking at elite politics in South Sudan, de Waal argued that since the signing of the CPA with Khartoum, the oil and, to a lesser extent, aid revenues now available to South Sudanese leaders had been consistently used to build patronage linkages and private security loyalties, leaving scant resources for health and other public services. This system had

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Mel Bunce

later, John Stuart Mill, perhaps the most famous advocate of free speech, made a similar argument. He suggested that if we can only stand up and freely challenge false ideas then we will see ‘the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error’ (1859: 33). This central tenet is called into question by the chaos of online misinformation, channelled and amplified through social media. A second phenomenon has made the challenge of disinformation more acute today: the behaviour of political elites. More

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

with a basic consensus on American exceptionality that previously united American elites. It is possible to list the main premises synthetically, without necessarily following the order of their presentation in the strategy: the international system is a space of permanent competition for power between sovereign states, which are responsible for the construction of a peaceful world order; the world is made up of strong, independent and sovereign nations, with their own cultures, values, ideas and dreams; American values are not universal and, though

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

, who then become special targets. ( Défis, 2014 ) 3 In fact, according to negotiators for RAID and GIGN (elite tactical units of the French police), ‘[Multinational] companies, which are overinsured, have become accustomed to paying ransom. It’s a whole attitude and system. They don’t make waves; they just pay’ ( Moisan, 2013 ). Advised by the same private security companies, aid organisations seem to have adopted the same K&R (kidnapping and ransom) policies practised by large

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

unconscious heuristics, environmental cues, mental shortcuts and the unthinking operation of group preferences and shared models ( World Bank, 2015 : 3–4). Given these individuated biases, there is a risk that Homo inscius , if left on its own, will behave badly. Designing psycho-social governance technologies acting at the level of the subconscious has proven irresistible to the politically bankrupt elites presiding over the downturn. Because of Homo inscius ’ inability to fully comprehend, together with its inherent biases, the compensatory

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Why plumage matters
Author: Rodney Barker

This book presents the rich fabric of language, clothing, food, and architecture which forms the diverse religious, political, cultural and ethnic identities of humanity. The colour of a scarf, the accent of a conversation, can unite people or divide them, and the smallest detail can play its part in signalling who are allies and who are enemies, as much for elites as for citizens in a democracy. Human identity is neither rigidly determined nor unpredictable and spontaneous, but between those two extremes is the forum on which the public life of humanity is generated. After a century in which an assumption was held across the ideological spectrum from left to right and from Marxists to economic individualists that the rational pursuit of material gain underlay social and political activity, the fundamental importance of the cultivation and preservation of identity is re-emerging across the whole spectrum of politics in which Britain is one example only. Yet while identity is the dimension in which public life is conducted, it is inherently paradoxical: on the one hand people cultivate their identity by association with a group, or religion, or nation, whilst on the other hand they distinguish themselves from their associates within those groups by presenting an intensified or purer form of the qualities which otherwise unite them. So identity simultaneously generates equality and inequality, between identification by association, and identity by exclusion and differentiation; it is both the engine of public life, and the cause of its confusion and conflict.

This Open Access edition was funded by London School of Economics and Political Science.

Rothenburg, 1561–1652
Author: Alison Rowlands

Given the widespread belief in witchcraft and the existence of laws against such practices, why did witch-trials fail to gain momentum and escalate into ‘witch-crazes’ in certain parts of early modern Europe? This book answers this question by examining the rich legal records of the German city of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, a city that experienced a very restrained pattern of witch-trials and just one execution for witchcraft between 1561 and 1652. The book explores the factors that explain the absence of a ‘witch-craze’ in Rothenburg, placing particular emphasis on the interaction of elite and popular priorities in the pursuit (and non-pursuit) of alleged witches at law. By making the witchcraft narratives told by the peasants and townspeople of Rothenburg central to its analysis, the book also explores the social and psychological conflicts that lay behind the making of accusations and confessions of witchcraft. Furthermore, it challenges the existing explanations for the gender-bias of witch-trials, and also offers insights into other areas of early modern life, such as experiences of and beliefs about communal conflict, magic, motherhood, childhood and illness. Written in a narrative style, the study invites a wide readership to share in the drama of early modern witch trials.

Elite beliefs about witchcraft and magic
Alison Rowlands

2 The devil’s power to delude: elite beliefs about witchcraft and magic The Rothenburg elites have left us few personal testimonies of their beliefs about witchcraft and magic during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. No record of council meetings was kept in Rothenburg until 1664, when popular pressure for greater openness forced the councillors to lift the shroud of secrecy from their gatherings. However, even after 1664 the meeting minutes recorded only the decisions made by the council and not the deliberations by which they were reached. The often

in Witchcraft narratives in Germany