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Loud and proud

Passion and politics in the English Defence League

Hilary Pilkington

‘Loud and proud’: Politics and passion in the English Defence League is a study of grassroots activism in what is widely considered to be a violent Islamophobic and racist organisation.

The book uses interviews, informal conversations and extended observation at EDL events to critically reflect on the gap between the movement’s public image and activists’ own understandings of it. It details how activists construct the EDL, and themselves, as ‘not racist, not violent, just no longer silent’ inter alia through the exclusion of Muslims as a possible object of racism on the grounds that they are a religiously not racially defined group. In contrast activists perceive themselves to be ‘second-class citizens’, disadvantaged and discriminated by a ‘two-tier’ justice system that privileges the rights of ‘others’. This failure to recognise themselves as a privileged white majority explains why ostensibly intimidating EDL street demonstrations marked by racist chanting and nationalistic flag waving are understood by activists as standing ‘loud and proud’; the only way of ‘being heard’ in a political system governed by a politics of silencing.

Unlike most studies of ‘far right’ movements, this book focuses not on the EDL as an organisation – its origins, ideology, strategic repertoire and effectiveness – but on the individuals who constitute the movement. Its ethnographic approach challenges stereotypes and allows insight into the emotional as well as political dimension of activism. At the same time, the book recognises and discusses the complex political and ethical issues of conducting close-up social research with ‘distasteful’ groups.

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Oases of Humanity and the Realities of War

Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

Rony Brauman

Introduction But of all our contemporary illusions, the most dangerous … is the idea that we live in a time without precedent . Tony Judt, Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century ( Judt, 2008 ) If some humanitarian-organisation spokespeople are to be believed, the norms and principles underpinning their action have been under attack since the end of the Cold War, which is endangering both humanitarian teams and the operations they conduct. References to ‘before’ have been heard since the mid-1990s, in the wake of

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A World without a Project

An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

Juliano Fiori

’s problems right now. I was appointed by the OAS [Organisation of American States,] as the head of the election-observer mission for Haiti [2015]. I spoke with one of the candidates, a radical, who was against MINUSTAH. There was a lot of violence at the time. I asked him, ‘But what do you want? Do you want MINUSTAH to leave?’ He said, ‘No, not now.’ The alternative was that militias took control. The elections happened. The deeper problems of Haiti continue. It is difficult to say how successful we were there. It certainly wasn’t a total success. But we

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Mel Bunce

Mediterranean, for example, have been targeted in fake-news attacks ( Magee, 2018 ). Sean Ryan, Director of Media at Save the Children, describes his organisation’s experience: In the Mediterranean our search and rescue operations have been falsely accused of colluding with traffickers. It started as a report in the Italian media and then Defend Europe, the far-right group, hired their own boat to try and stop what we were doing. Breitbart released a video which purported to prove our collusion with traffickers but showed nothing of the kind

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When the Music Stops

Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

Stephen Hopgood

the ICRC is really the first human rights organisation ( Hopgood, 2013 : chap. 2). We can point to different emphases – the law versus medicine, justice and accountability versus crisis and need – but common to both these strategies for normative action is a commitment to the physical and mental integrity, the existential moral dignity, of all human beings whoever they are and whatever they have done. This is distinctively modern, and liberal, and still something of a heresy in many Western societies let alone beyond. It is only if one shares this

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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

). High rates of staff mobility significantly impact the development of institutional memory ( Korff et al. , 2015 ). This, in turn, leads to an overemphasis on contemporary events to guide reflection. As John Borton put it, ‘such is the degree of ahistoricism within much of the sector that initiatives aimed at fostering improved practice tend to only reference recent practice’ ( Borton, 2016 : 195). History’s second contribution is to disrupt the often repeated – and far too uncritically consumed – trope of ‘progress’ in the aid sector. Historians’ suspicion of

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Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Mark Duffield

and services contracted ( Cornia, 1987 ). Moving to catch up, so to speak, by the 1990s a ‘post-social’ economy was consolidating in the global North. While marked differences remain, the North and South have drawn together around the economic logic of precarity. In the latter, fuelled by jobless growth, for several decades a self-reproducing informal sector has been by far the largest employer and supplier of goods and services ( Meagher, 2016 ). For the North, precarity has taken the form of the disappearance of ‘good’ jobs as the casualisation

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The Changing Faces of UNRWA

From the Global to the Local

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

specific US-approved ‘reforms’. 3 This ‘catastrophic’ decision ( AFP, 2018 ) was widely denounced around the world as a form of collective punishment against the Palestinian people ( Bachner, 2018 ; Dumper, 2018 ). By the end of August 2018, when the US Government announced its decision to completely defund UNRWA, commentators identified this as part of a strategy to force Palestinian refugees to rescind the Right of Return to Palestine (a right set out in UNGA Resolution 194). 4 Many noted that undermining the Agency’s capacity to

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José Luís Fiori

identifies the threats to American national interests ( ibid .: 25–6): 1) Russia and China, the two great ‘revisionist powers’; 2) North Korea and Iran, two ‘rogue states’ that undermine geopolitical equilibrium in Northeast Asia and the Middle East; 3) ‘Jihadist terrorist groups’ and international criminal organisations that propagate violence and traffic drugs and arms. The document offers an extensive list of actions to be undertaken by the US to achieve strategic objectives and confront rivals, from controlling borders to increasing military

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Transgressing the cordon sanitaire: understanding the English Defence League as a social movement

Hilary Pilkington

introductory chapter sets out an approach to understanding activism in the English Defence League (EDL) from within social movement studies. It places the EDL alongside populist radical right rather than classic ‘far right’ movements on the political spectrum and outlines a provisional rationale for characterising it as an anti-Islamist movement. Prefacing the theoretical discussion in subsequent chapters of the book, it contextualises claims by the EDL that the organisation is ‘not racist’ but ‘against militant Islam’ within contemporary theories of ‘race’ and racism and in