This article discusses how Armenians have collected, displayed and exchanged the bones of their murdered ancestors in formal and informal ceremonies of remembrance in Dayr al-Zur, Syria – the final destination for hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the deportations of 1915. These pilgrimages – replete with overlapping secular and nationalist motifs – are a modern variant of historical pilgrimage practices; yet these bones are more than relics. Bone rituals, displays and vernacular memorials are enacted in spaces of memory that lie outside of official state memorials, making unmarked sites of atrocity more legible. Vernacular memorial practices are of particular interest as we consider new archives for the history of the Armenian Genocide. The rehabilitation of this historical site into public consciousness is particularly urgent, since the Armenian Genocide Memorial Museum and Martyr’s Church at the centre of the pilgrimage site were both destroyed by ISIS (Islamic State in Syria) in 2014.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector

of their methods into their work practices. Humanitarian History and Policy The impetus for this project came from a growing interest in history within the aid industry. The humanitarian sector’s engagement with its past has expanded significantly since the beginning of the twenty-first century, typified by the Overseas Development Institute’s five-year ‘Global History of Modern Humanitarian Action’ project (2011–15), Médecins sans Frontières’ Speaking Out initiative ( Médecins sans Frontières, n.d. ), its recently released associative history ( Médecins sans

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

. Eurocentrism has taught us to see the potential end of an era in every relative change in Western power. Thinking about the role of humanitarianism today requires that we don’t reproduce or unwittingly celebrate Western-led order by mourning the end of a history that never actually existed. Given past and present non-Western experiences of liberal order, we might ask: what’s there to mourn? My personal experiences of research and knowledge production regarding humanitarianism have reinforced in me an anti-colonial ethos – an intellectual opposition to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Focus on Community Engagement

in Liberia; indirect mediation to chiefs in Sierra Leone. Inspired by the extended-case-study method developed by the Manchester School ( Gluckman, 1940 ), we illuminate our ethnography by paying attention to the long history of the relationship between power and population. The cases are presented chronologically in order to align with the history of the West Africa epidemic. In the first case, Sylvain Landry B. Faye details a case from Kolobengou, Guinea, in which Ministry of Health efforts to mobilise traditional and political elites clashed with locally

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction

represented a final victory for Western liberal democracy – an unexpected Hegelian denouement in the knotweed of History. Their euphoria – albeit short-lived – provided the entrance music for a new ethical order, constructed by the US, with a basis in liberal humanitarian norms. Without any direct and immediate threat to its hegemony, the US merged its geostrategy with a humanitarian ethics. In 1991, after the Gulf War, the US invaded Iraq in the name of humanitarian concern. The following year, to the applause of numerous humanitarian NGOs, it led a

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

with the Pentagon, the CIA and other security and intelligence organs of the US government, as well as the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Treasury. To grasp its importance, it is necessary to distinguish it from the eccentric and unpredictable character of Donald Trump. But it is also necessary to recognise that it would take a character like Trump to bring about such a break from the history and tradition of US foreign policy. From a strictly academic perspective, the new strategy document looks like an applied manual of realist

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

Introduction The modern global humanitarian system takes the form it does because it is underpinned by liberal world order, the post-1945 successor to the imperial world of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries and the global political and economic system the European empires created. Humanitarian space, as we have come to know it in the late twentieth century, is liberal space, even if many of those engaged in humanitarian action would rather not see themselves as liberals. To the extent that there is something constitutively liberal about

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

spirit of 1970s direct humanitarian action was fabricated from a deductive process of knowledge formation framed by narratives of history, causation and reciprocity. Reflecting the rise to dominance of a cybernetic episteme, this register has been replaced by a reliance on inductive mathematical data and machine-thinking for sense-making ( Rouvroy, 2012 ). Thinking has been transformed into calculation ( Han, 2013 ). 1 The current dominance within the academy of empiricism and behaviourism reflects this change in world-experience. What is often

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister

former president should be allowed to run in the forthcoming election. ‘We have conditions to do great things,’ he said to me when we met, ‘but of course we need a legitimate government.’ It is far from clear that the election, only weeks away, can deliver this. Juliano Fiori: You first served as Brazilian foreign minister in the early 1990s. Between then and now, what has been the principal change in the conduct of international relations? Celso Amorim: For me, the most important change to note is that, for the first time in modern history, the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

man who had been shocked by the carnage in Solferino. Selective indignation has a long history! The final third of the nineteenth century, with its progress in transport and communications, was also a time of accelerating colonial conquest, ‘transformed ipso facto into just wars in the name of natural law, trade, movement, and property’, in the words of historian Enzo Traverso ( Traverso, 2004 ). While humanitarianism by definition refers to a single human species, the concept of the existential equality of all humans is not necessarily included (all humans, but

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs