Open Access (free)
Brad Evans

destructive. While we can agree with Nietzsche that nihilism is a motor of modern history, it is a mistake to see it in purely negative terms. One of the greatest myths about contemporary violence is still connected to rather old psycho-analytical insights concerning fatalism and the egotistical downfall of the deluded man. Freud’s notion of the death drive in many ways is integral to the de-legitimation of the violence we do not like on account of its negation of human existence ( Freud, 1991 ). Of course, it is necessary to understand the psychic life of violence, and to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
S.J. Barnett

The myth of Enlightenment deism 1 The myth of Enlightenment deism The myth of the deist movement The first hint of deism in the historical record is to be found in sixteenth-century Lyon. In 1563 Pierre Viret, a close colleague of the Protestant reformer Calvin, wrote the Instruction Chrétienne, in which he described various freethinkers who needed to be combated. Amongst them Viret mentioned those ‘qui s’appelent déistes, d’un mot tout nouveau’ (‘who call themselves deists, a completely new word’) and his description of them heavily emphasized their lack of

in The Enlightenment and religion
Sidi NDiaye

This article describes the brutalisation of the bodies of Tutsi and Jewish victims in 1994 and during the Second World War, respectively, and contrasts the procedures adopted by killers to understand what these deadly practices say about the imaginaries at work in Rwanda and Poland. Dealing with the infernalisation of the body, which eventually becomes a form of physical control, this comparative work examines the development of groups and communities of killers in their particular social and historical context. Different sources are used, such as academic works, reports from victims organisations and non-governmental organisations, books, testimonies and film documentaries.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
José Luís Fiori

-state capitalist system. To explore this proposition, let us adopt an approach that is highly unorthodox in the field of international political theory: the analysis of myths. 2 We will focus here on an interpretation of a millenarian religious myth, universalised through the Judeo-Christian tradition: the myth of the Tower of Babel. Ancient and enigmatic, this myth appears in almost identical form in different places and cultures throughout the history of Mesopotamia. As with all myths that have resisted the passing of time, this one contains truths and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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

above, such violence may be aimed at causing humiliation or fear among victims and their communities, and it should not be understood as a reflection of the sexuality of the perpetrator ( Eriksson Baaz and Stern, 2018 ) or the victim ( Eichert, 2018 ). This myth contributes to victim-blaming, as it suggests that survivors might have somehow ‘attracted’ the perpetrator or that they must have ‘enjoyed’ what was in fact rape ( Davies, Gilston et al

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Self-examining White Privilege and the Myth of America
Keely Shinners

James Baldwin, in his landmark essay “My Dungeon Shook,” says that white Americans are “still trapped in a history which they do not understand; and until they understand it, they cannot be released from it.” This open letter explores this history on a personal level. Taking notes from Baldwin’s indictments of whiteness in Another Country and The Fire Next Time, this essay explores how white people, despite claims of deniability, become culpable, complicit, and ensnared in their racial privilege. By reading Baldwin’s work through a personal lens, it implores fellow white readers and scholars of Baldwin to begin examining the myths of America by first examining themselves.

James Baldwin Review
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

towards migrants. In ‘Myths of Violence’, Brad Evans offers a possible explanation of what motivates solidarity with migrants and asylum seekers in Europe. For Evans, instead of the privilege of absolute power, violence is the outcome of asymmetric freedom, ‘the freedom to punish and destroy … over the freedom to resist or … to flee’. With reference to Gilles Deleuze, he argues that oppression not only denies the rights of the oppressed but restricts their movement. He challenges a conception of ‘the political’ that he feels legitimises the continuation of violence in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

innovation not only in relation to its underlying ideology but in light of what it may mean to actual beneficiaries. After all, while ‘pure’ humanitarian principles and the autonomy of the humanitarian sector were always a myth, they served an important purpose: in the words of Scott-Smith (2016: 2241) , they helped to ‘distinguish the value-driven sphere of humanitarianism from the interest-driven spheres of politics and profit’. In this special issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action, we look

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

and monopolistic distortions. And as liberal hopes for a pacific and technocratic utopia have taken leave of empirical reality, the assumption of progress has been sustained primarily through myth-making and cognitive gymnastics. Fake news is not the antithesis of liberal truth but its progeny. Nonetheless, the notion of liberal order is useful to the extent that it signals the role of liberal ideas and politics in the consolidation of Western hegemony and, more specifically, the expansion of American power. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Four

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

an invitation to explore the interplay between refugees and digital technology in the face of scarce literature on the topic when Leung conducted her research (by the time the book was published, substantial research on the matter was available). Following this invitation, the author elaborates on what constitutes a refugee, a legal status that is often contingent on an assessment by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the host country. Through several examples, Leung debunks the myth

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs