Open Access (free)
Alan Cromartie

legitimate . A given command has legitimacy to the extent that it secures willing obedience even where it conflicts with the obvious interests of those commanded. The best known modern treatment of the concept is in the later writings of the great sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920). Weber approached legitimacy as a subcategory of ‘domination’, by which he meant ‘the probability that certain specific commands (or all

in Political concepts
Marta Iñiguez de Heredia

1 Legitimacy, violence and extraction in the practice of building states [T]o govern men as to produce and collect goods is inseparable from the specific modes of the distribution and modulation of violence. (Mbembe 1991a: 7) W Ruling over people hatever other challenges peacebuilding faces, whether administrative reform, economic reactivation or the stabilisation of conflicts, it poses peacebuilders with the basic question of how to assert state rule. Peacebuilding has a state-making ethos and, as Weber argues, states are ‘associations of rule’ (1978: 51

in Everyday resistance, peacebuilding and state-making
A Focus on Community Engagement
Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez, and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

). They relied on grassroots community actors, classic figures of humanitarian work or development ( Olivier de Sardan, 2005 ): chiefs, women, elders and youths seen as legitimate actors, able to both represent and influence the ‘community’ – that is, to be intermediaries of community engagement between the intervention and local populations. This article shows how both the legitimacy of these actors embodying the response and eventually the intervention itself was contested

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
David Rieff

established global order has been greatly exaggerated, then you will doubt that those changes are likely to pose any existential challenge to the humanitarian international, be it in terms of the efficacy of what relief groups do in the field or in terms of the political and moral legitimacy they can aspire to enjoy. But if, on the contrary, you believe that we are living in the last days of a doomed system – established in the aftermath of World War II and dominated by the US – then the humanitarian international is no more likely to survive (or to put

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

of liberal order, pointing to the humanitarian hypocrisy of the US. But as they vie for leadership of the multilateral system, they also attempt to resignify it, demonstrating almost no concern for liberal ideals themselves. Liberalism might yet be recovered as the basis for global order. But it is unlikely that liberal institutions undermined in recent years can recover their legitimacy; and it is unclear what will emerge in their stead. ‘The crisis’, Gramsci noted, referring to the detachment of the masses from traditional ideologies and

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

worldview – where the suffering of strangers is a matter of concern, and a legitimate ground for principled intervention, for everyone – that humanitarianism and human rights enjoy full legitimacy. They are both morally grounded by the same ends, ends that have thrived under US-led liberal order for four decades (reaching their zenith from 1991 to 2011). During this time, both humanitarianism and human rights have provided a seemingly non-political (or perhaps ‘political’ not ‘Political’) outlet for religious and secular activists, many from the left

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

they do not challenge its authority; in contrast, both the nation-state from which they come and the one to which they want to relocate invariably question the legitimacy of asylum seekers. Her exposition also contrasts two perspectives for the study of technology in society: technological determinism and social determinism. She concludes this part of the book with a call for a middle ground, in which the analysis of digital-technology use balances the artefact’s technological properties with the

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

raises questions about the sector’s role in transforming cultures. If humanitarianism is simply another culture among many, what legitimacy does it have to change other cultures? If humanitarianism itself is patriarchal, as discussed above, with what authority can it promote gender equality? I believe this legitimacy and authority can only come from local feminist voices themselves. This includes local feminist and women’s organisations such as the numerous

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Law and Politics of Responding to Attacks against Aid Workers
Julia Brooks and Rob Grace

’s #NotATarget campaign – have actually played a role in shaping armed actors’ behaviour in relation to humanitarians. On the other hand, case study and comparative research paints a mixed and uncertain picture of the actual impact of more targeted public advocacy focused on particular combatants, contexts, and incidents. There are some contexts where advocacy has evidently influenced combatants’ behaviour (in particular, where parties to a conflict are concerned for their reputation and legitimacy in the eyes of the international community) and other instances when advocacy

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

belligerents for its alleged partiality in the conflict. The opposition pointed to an UNMISS political mandate that gave undue legitimacy to Salva Kiir’s government, whereas the government suspected the UNMISS PoC sites of sheltering rebels in areas it controlled. Both sides thus objected to MSF working in PoC sites. It would, however, remain the only feasible option to keep an MSF team in Bentiu in the years that followed. The April attack on the city, the violence that took place

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs