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Frédéric Le Marcis, Luisa Enria, Sharon Abramowitz, Almudena-Mari Saez and Sylvain Landry B. Faye

heterogeneity, the cases constitute what can be termed comparables , in reference to the work of the French historian Marcel Détienne (2002 , 2009 ). They are emblematic of the interactions at play during emergency encounters. They speak to each other as they highlight the contested nature of legitimacy, its roots both in the longue durée and in contemporary issues. They shed light on the important role played during epidemics by the too often ignored intermediaries of the international intervention. Comparative anthropology of the kind we develop here has the potential

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Mel Bunce

, which surveyed more than 30,000 people in 28 countries, found a remarkable 59 per cent support the phrase ‘I am not sure what is true and what is not’ ( Edelman, 2018 ). Among other issues, this lack of trust makes it much harder for journalists to do their job – to provide information about humanitarian issues and to hold those with power to account. The news media has historically played an important (albeit imperfect) role in supporting the response to humanitarian emergencies: by providing surveillance and early warning, raising

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Rescue and Resistance in the Med

An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse

Juliano Fiori

-and-rescue missions. But it is citizen movements that have been at the forefront of the emergency response. Similarly inspired by cosmopolitan ideals, these groups tend to use more political language than conventional NGOs, presenting their relief activities as a form of direct resistance to nationalist politics and xenophobia. As liberal humanitarianism is challenged in its European heartland, they are developing – through practice – a new model of humanitarian engagement. SOS MEDITERRANEE is an ad hoc citizen initiative founded in 2015 to prevent the death of

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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Mark Duffield

, from this period, been feebler than the last ( Brenner, 2006 ). Recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, for example, has been the weakest and most prolonged on record ( Streeck, 2017 ). Reflecting the realities of the downturn, the new freedom to consume has, to a remarkable degree, been unequally distributed ( OECD, 2008 ; Oxfam, 2016 ). Precarity is a by-product of the long downturn. It emerges at that historic moment when the economy becomes a site of permanent emergency ( Streeck, 2011 ). A human surplus coexists with the ‘jobless’ growth

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The Changing Faces of UNRWA

From the Global to the Local

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

the fields of health, social services, education, microfinance and direct cash emergency programmes – its budget and programming have been precarious since the agency’s inception, as has Palestinian refugees’ access to its services. Funded through fluctuating annual bilateral donations, donor support ‘has generally failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of UNRWA’s clientele… consequently the Agency has faced a worsening financial crisis’ ( Brynen, 2003 , 157). 9 The cumulative effects of this ongoing financial crisis meant that by mid

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War Breaks Out

Interpreting Violence on Healthcare in the Early Stage of the South Sudanese Civil War

Xavier Crombé and Joanna Kuper

Sudan (UNMISS), where about 8,000 people had sought shelter amid tensions and fear between the different communities present. As troops loyal to the government advanced toward Bentiu in the first week of January, MSF-H decided to evacuate its whole team and relocate it, for safety, to the town of Leer, 130 kilometres south of Bentiu, where the aid agency had been running the local hospital since 2005. In an article posted on the MSF website in early February, the MSF emergency coordinator for Unity state recounted the circumstances of this evacuation: When we

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Past Practice into Future Policy

A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

, ignored or not measured. It also privileges presentism. As Jeff Crisp rather pithily observed, over the course of any emergency, the sector ‘can be guaranteed to describe it as an “unprecedented crisis”’ ( Crisp, 2016 ). Description of the Project We developed ‘Humanitarian History: Past Practice into Future Policy’, a project funded by a New Foundations Grant from the Irish Research Council in 2017, from conversations about these issues. Our aim was to find a method that would allow humanitarians to integrate historical reflection into their work practices and

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When the Music Stops

Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

Stephen Hopgood

US explicitly rejected norms around rights and intervention, the space opened for a small army of humanitarian and human rights organisations to actively involve themselves in crises and complex emergencies worldwide under the sometimes explicit, often implicit protection of Western hegemony. This all came to an end with the intervention in Libya of 2011. On the face of it, getting China and Russia to abstain from using their veto on the security council must have seemed like a diplomatic coup. But in reality, this was a trigger for greater

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Oases of Humanity and the Realities of War

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

Rony Brauman

emergency, choose to offer their services to (state and non-state) actors as they see fit and negotiate the terms of that assistance without interference from institutional donors, who have their own politics. While that responsiveness and flexibility are valuable assets, the freedom that makes them possible is not absolute, because the practical details and locations of any programme, like its orientation, must be negotiated with local authorities ( Magone et al. , 2011 ). Hence funding is only one aspect of independence. But not depending on institutional donors does

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All Lives Are Equal but Some Lives Are More Equal than Others

Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector

Miriam Bradley

. and Weissman , F. (eds), Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management ( London : Hurst ), pp. 21 – 36 . Neuman , M. ( 2016b ), The Duty of a Head of Mission: Interview with Delphine Chedorge, MSF Emergency Coordinator in Central African Republic , in Neuman , M. and Weissman , F. (eds), Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian Security in the Age of Risk Management ( London : Hurst ), pp. 89 – 102 . Neuman , M. and Weissman , F. (eds) ( 2016 ), Saving Lives and Staying Alive: Humanitarian