Open Access (free)
James Baldwin’s Pragmatist Aesthetics
Rohan Ghatage

This essay establishes a philosophical connection between James Baldwin and the philosopher William James by investigating how the pragmatist protocol against “vicious intellectualism” offers Baldwin a key resource for thinking through how anti-black racism might be dismantled. While Richard Wright had earlier denounced pragmatism for privileging experience over knowledge, and thereby offering the black subject no means for redressing America’s constitutive hierarchies, uncovering the current of Jamesian thought that runs through Baldwin’s essays brings into view his attempt to move beyond epistemology as the primary framework for inaugurating a future unburdened by the problem of the color line. Although Baldwin indicts contemporaneous arrangements of knowledge for producing the most dehumanizing forms of racism, he does not simply attempt to rewrite the enervating meanings to which black subjects are given. Articulating a pragmatist sensibility at various stages of his career, Baldwin repeatedly suggests that the imagining and creation of a better world is predicated upon rethinking the normative value accorded to knowledge in the practice of politics. The provocative challenge that Baldwin issues for his reader is to cease the well-established privileging of knowledge, and to instead stage the struggle for freedom within an aesthetic, rather than epistemological, paradigm.

James Baldwin Review
José Luís Fiori

, North Korea and various other countries today use ‘Westphalian diplomacy’ and the ‘geopolitics of nations’ – European inventions – to question the hierarchy of this European system led by the US. From our point of view, it was exactly this convergence and normative homogenisation in the inter-state system, on the one hand, and the increasing power of states that question American exceptionality and centrality using rules authored by the US itself, on the other, that began to threaten the global power of the US. This obliged the US to make an

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

-capitalism’s antipathy to professional hierarchies; it also seeks to change the attitudes and mindsets of humanitarian aid workers as well. In justifying what, only a few decades ago, would have been called ‘brain washing’, behavioural economics has required a significant shift in how the actor-potential of the human subject is viewed. Throughout much of the twentieth century, this understanding was shaped by the behavioural avatar of Homo economicus . While Homo economicus could deceive and make one-sided decisions, it did make use of deliberative

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Rethinking Digital Divides by Linda Leung
Antonio Díaz Andrade

technologies during displacement resulted in an improvement on what she labels ‘technology literacy’. She identifies a hierarchy of technology literacy – from the ability to receive calls to the ability to liaise with telecommunications providers. However, the refugees’ resettlement in Australia marked a point of departure, since the initiatives taken as part of the resettlement process emphasise computer skills. While technology literacy was essential for individuals from refugee backgrounds to fulfil

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Sophie Roborgh

specific personal losses the interviewee had suffered while working in a field hospital, and well-known cases they had been involved with. 3 Hierarchies of suffering were hence created in the facilitation of my research project, perhaps unconsciously so. At times the networks were overwhelmed with information requests. Some media staff tried to moderate the enormous confusion around the Aleppo siege by creating a WhatsApp group directly connecting top journalists to local actors on the ground, many of whom were selected health workers. Numbering about 267 participants

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Politics of ‘Proximity’ and Performing Humanitarianism in Eastern DRC
Myfanwy James

complementarity, but it is not an egalitarian practice. It helps to maintain the racialised hierarchy between foreign decision-makers, and their ‘native’ assistants. The inequality between ‘national’ and ‘expatriate’ staff has been an ongoing topic of discussion within MSF ( Fox, 2014 ). In 2006, the MSF sections signed the La Mancha accords, which aimed to ‘provide fair employment opportunities for all staff’ and ‘address any issues of discrimination within MSF’. 1 Despite this, MSF has still not overcome the ‘divide between travelling expatriates and the much larger pool

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Emmanuelle Strub

department – a department that consisted of about a dozen, mainly medical, technical advisors. And while the department was part of the International Operations Directorate, the relationship with operational managers from headquarters and the field was functional, not hierarchical. Security Advisor, 2012–16 Task One: Training the Heads of Mission Two months after I started as MdM’s security advisor I travelled to Yemen

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Four Decisive Challenges Confronting Humanitarian Innovation
Gerard Finnigan and Otto Farkas

deeply entrenched views of social hierarchy. Given that a high proportion of people affected by the earthquake were from vulnerable and marginalised groups (Dalits, Indigenous peoples, female-headed households and senior citizens), the capacity of the international humanitarian response system to reach these groups was significantly affected ( Ferretti et al. , 2016 ; STC, 2015 ). The Structural Challenge The fourth aspect limiting the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Paradoxes of hierarchy and authority in the squatters movement in Amsterdam
Author: Nazima Kadir

This book is an ethnographic study of the internal dynamics of a subcultural community that defines itself as a social movement. While the majority of scholarly studies on this movement focus on its official face, on its front stage, this book concerns itself with the ideological and practical paradoxes at work within the micro-social dynamics of the backstage, an area that has so far been neglected in social movement studies. The central question is how hierarchy and authority function in a social movement subculture that disavows such concepts. The squatters’ movement, which defines itself primarily as anti-hierarchical and anti-authoritarian, is profoundly structured by the unresolved and perpetual contradiction between both public disavowal and simultaneous maintenance of hierarchy and authority within the movement. This study analyzes how this contradiction is then reproduced in different micro-social interactions, examining the methods by which people negotiate minute details of their daily lives as squatter activists in the face of a funhouse mirror of ideological expectations reflecting values from within the squatter community, that, in turn, often refract mainstream, middle class norms.

A history of forbidden relations

This study brings out the norms and culturally dependent values that formed the basis of the theoretical regulation and the practical handling of incest cases in Sweden 1680–1940, situating this development in a wider European context. It discusses a broad variety of general human subjects that are as important today as they were hundreds of years ago, such as love, death, family relations, religion, crimes, and punishments.

By analysing criminal-case material and applications for dispensation, as well as political and legislative sources, the incest phenomenon is explored from different perspectives over a long time period. It turns out that although the incest debate has been dominated by religious, moral, and later medical beliefs, ideas about love, age, and family hierarchies often influenced the assessment of individual incest cases. These unspoken values could be decisive – sometimes life-determining – for the outcome of various incest cases.

The book will interest scholars from several different fields of historical research, such as cultural history, the history of crime and of sexuality, family history, history of kinship, and historical marriage patterns. The long time period also broadens the number of potential readers. Since the subject concerns general human issues that are as current today as they were three centuries ago, the topic will also appeal to a non-academic audience.