The promotion of human rights in international politics
Author: M. Anne Brown

This book argues for greater openness in the ways we approach human rights and international rights promotion, and in so doing brings some new understanding to old debates. Starting with the realities of abuse rather than the liberal architecture of rights, it casts human rights as a language for probing the political dimensions of suffering. Seen in this context, the predominant Western models of right generate a substantial but also problematic and not always emancipatory array of practices. These models are far from answering the questions about the nature of political community that are raised by the systemic infliction of suffering. Rather than a simple message from ‘us’ to ‘them’, then, rights promotion is a long and difficult conversation about the relationship between political organisations and suffering. Three case studies are explored: the Tiananmen Square massacre, East Timor's violent modern history and the circumstances of indigenous Australians. The purpose of these discussions is not to elaborate on a new theory of rights, but to work towards rights practices that are more responsive to the spectrum of injury that we inflict and endure.

A Military Tactic or Collateral Damage?
Abdulkarim Ekzayez and Ammar Sabouni

, advocacy and grass-roots health governance. Suffering under the severe resource constraints of war and a stunted international response, they have adapted through innovation, role shifting and resilience. The type of role local healthcare workers have played has been dictated largely by geopolitical changes over the course of the conflict ( Bdaiwi, forthcoming ). In government-controlled Syria, at the start of the conflict, healthcare workers attended to wounded protestors and helped torture victims. With the militarisation of the conflict and the development of non

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Benoît Pouget

Based on a study of intersecting French archives (those of the Val de Grâce Hospital, the Service Historique de la Défense and the Archives Diplomatiques), and with the support of numerous printed sources, this article focuses on the handling of the bodies of French soldiers who died of cholera during the Crimean War (1854–56). As a continuation of studies done by historians Luc Capdevila and Danièle Voldman, the aim here is to consider how the diseased corpses of these soldiers reveal both the causes and circumstances of their deaths. Beyond the epidemiological context, these dead bodies shed light on the sanitary conditions and suffering resulting from years of military campaigns. To conclude, the article analyses the material traces left by these dead and the way that the Second Empire used them politically, giving the remains of leaders who died on the front lines of the cholera epidemic a triumphant return to the country and a state funeral.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

opposition to coloniality, even in the most ‘benign’ of research and policy areas, like international aid and humanitarianism. Coloniality can be understood as the perpetuation of colonial systems and technologies of domination into the present. As discussed by scholars such as Quijano, Grosfoguel, Dussel and Ndlovu-Gatsheni, the concept of decoloniality encourages systemic and historical analysis of the organised (re)production of injustice and mass human suffering. Formal colonialism (which arguably existed from 1492 to the 1960s) and transatlantic

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
Arjun Claire

Introduction Humanitarian advocacy shot to prominence in the 1990s. Frustrated by treating symptoms of crises, several humanitarian organisations were turning to a rights-based approach, and advocacy provided the toolbox for a closer engagement with the politics of crises ( Bridges, 2010 ). What was until then largely a moral act to bear witness and speak out against suffering ( Redfield, 2006 ) was in the process subsumed within a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Brendan T. Lawson

– each having the same minimum needs – existing as atomised individuals within the larger mass. For Glasman, this erases how individuals exist within families, communities, regions and nations. Glasman’s work on minimal versions of humanity and the wider literature on proximity and distance emphasises the need for the ‘ethics of quantification’ to be taken seriously ( Espeland and Yung, 2019 ). To do so, we can turn to the literature on mediated suffering to further explore

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

pessimistic warnings about unintended consequences. Equally, there is a long history of how humanitarian endeavours have played a role in sustaining or exacerbating conflicts, where humanitarians intervened with the best moral and ethical intentions and principles but in the end were arguably pivotal in prolonging suffering, a pertinent example being the then ‘innovative’ humanitarian interventions in the secessionist war in Biafra that ended 50 years ago and has been a milestone in re

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Humanity and Solidarity
Tanja R. Müller and Róisín Read

many may remember, was also (together with Eritrea, then 1983–85) at the heart of what has been described as the ‘archetypal media famine’ ( Moeller, 1999 ). More than 50 years after Biafra, that saw the birth or acceleration of humanitarian action and a sea change in definitions of what humanitarian action may be, and more than 35 years after the ‘Ethiopian famine’, we still grapple with similar issues around spectacles of suffering, advocacy, political instrumentalisation and conceptions of solidarity

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Catherine Akurut

Holmegaard, 2015 : 10). Given that the goal of humanitarian organisations is to employ evidence-based responses that alleviate the suffering of all those in need, ignoring these concerns disregards the very foundation of humanitarianism – the impartiality of assistance according to need. Barriers to Men’s Inclusion While the pressure to include men in existing SGBV services has been gradual and continues to intensify, the tendency towards

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs