Open Access (free)
Mark B. Brown

9 Expertise Mark B. Brown The complex relations among publicity, legitimacy and expertise have long been central to modern science. From the 1660s onward, Robert Boyle and the natural philosophers at the Royal Society legitimated their work in part by portraying it as a distinctly public form of knowledge production. Employing a rhetoric of transparency, they wrote meticulous lab reports in a modest style and performed their experiments in public. They produced expert knowledge both in public and through the public. But their public was largely restricted to

in Science and the politics of openness
Keith Krause

In discussions of conflict, war and political violence, dead bodies count. Although the politics and practices associated with the collection of violent-death data are seldom subject to critical examination, they are crucial to how scholars and practitioners think about how and why conflict and violence erupt. Knowledge about conflict deaths – the who, what, where, when, why and how – is a form of expertise, created, disseminated and used by different agents. This article highlights the ways in which body counts are deployed as social facts and forms of knowledge that are used to shape and influence policies and practices associated with armed conflict. It traces the way in which conflict-death data emerged, and then examines critically some of the practices and assumptions of data collection to shed light on how claims to expertise are enacted and on how the public arena connects (or not) with scholarly conflict expertise.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Claudia Merli
and
Trudi Buck

This article considers the contexts and processes of forensic identification in 2004 post-tsunami Thailand as examples of identity politics. The presence of international forensic teams as carriers of diverse technical expertise overlapped with bureaucratic procedures put in place by the Thai government. The negotiation of unified forensic protocols and the production of estimates of identified nationals straddle biopolitics and thanatocracy. The immense identification task testified on the one hand to an effort to bring individual bodies back to mourning families and national soils, and on the other hand to determining collective ethnic and national bodies, making sense out of an inexorable and disordered dissolution of corporeal as well as political boundaries. Individual and national identities were the subject of competing efforts to bring order to,the chaos, reaffirming the cogency of the body politic by mapping national boundaries abroad. The overwhelming forensic effort required by the exceptional circumstances also brought forward the socio-economic and ethnic disparities of the victims, whose post-mortem treatment and identification traced an indelible divide between us and them.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Open Access (free)
Phoebe Shambaugh

interpreted in local context and in their research they uncover alternative meanings of resilience which are social and relational. These meanings, embedded in networks of exchange and assistance, including both local and transnational support, challenge the imported humanitarian-development definition of resilience as ‘build back better’. While the approach taken to the concept of resilience by these first two pieces is oppositional, both are reactions to resilience as a discourse of power imported into a context through humanitarian expertise and which serves particular

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Lessons Learned from an Intervention by Médecins Sans Frontières
Maria Ximena Di Lollo
,
Elena Estrada Cocina
,
Francisco De Bartolome Gisbert
,
Raquel González Juarez
, and
Ana Garcia Mingo

staff workload and different levels of education and expertise, conducted training on IPC measures and assisted with the design of contingency plans and evaluation of facilities. MSF also donated personal protective equipment (PPE), and when supplies were unavailable, supported care home staff to develop alternative solutions. Advocacy. Throughout the intervention, MSF was lobbying the highest levels of authorities and wrote numerous letters, reports

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Brendan T. Lawson

counting practices form an increasingly larger part of everyone’s workload, it also privileges certain types of expertise over others. Since the 1990s, there has been a shift from experience-based opinion within the humanitarian sector towards quantitative experts who practice auditing, deploy accountancy and conduct numerical-based research ( Barnett, 2013 ; Beerli and Weissman, 2016 ). The dominance of these quantitative experts has been demonstrated in the work that

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

about the political will, operational implementation and technical capabilities of humanitarians as about the perpetuation of colonial power relations in seemingly benevolent activities. Decoloniality asks: where do we start the story? Who has the microphone and who usually doesn’t? What do we consider expertise? What are the implications of Eurocentric bias in knowledge production? Do our practices and knowledge systems contribute to the struggle against colonial power relations? As we reflect on the potential end of liberal order

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Fabrice Weissman

of Hostage US, a non-profit organisation that provides support to hostages and their families, believes that the fight against kidnapping networks must focus on three priorities: reducing opportunities for kidnapping, particularly by limiting the number of potential victims in high-risk areas; sharing information and expertise acquired by people and organisations that have dealt with the problem; and increasing the ‘cost’ of the social, political

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan
and
Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

, 2007 ) and in the dynamics of a group setting ( Christensen, 2016 ). The reflective process must be carefully managed to safeguard the well-being of participants and to avoid subjecting them to undue stress. 3 Single Case Study Our decision to focus on Somalia was taken with a view to a) available expertise and the Irish humanitarian community’s long-standing relationship with the country (dating back to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Arjun Claire

meaningful changes in their lived experience. Humanitarian advocacy also tends to focus on direct operational and programmatic concerns, coalescing around issues such as access and funding. All this is a direct consequence of an increasingly technical approach to humanitarian action, which has resulted in the rise of the aid and advocacy ‘expert’ ( Givoni, 2011 ). In this new conception, technical expertise is privileged over a more overt political engagement. Effectiveness

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs