From Vietnam to the war in the Persian Gulf

In this chapter I want to explore, within a context of culture and power, the complex relations between memory and desire. 1 More specifically, I want to connect 1980s Hollywood representations of America’s war in Vietnam (what I will call ‘Hollywood’s Vietnam’) with George Bush’s campaign, in late 1990 and early 1991, to win support for US involvement

in Memory and popular film

This article considers how the reburial and commemoration of the human remains of the Republican defeated during the Spanish Civil War (1936–39) is affected by the social, scientific and political context in which the exhumations occur. Focusing on a particular case in the southwestern region of Extremadura, it considers how civil society groups administer reburial acts when a positive identification through DNA typing cannot be attained. In so doing, the article examines how disparate desires and memories come together in collective reburial of partially individuated human remains.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
Uses and Misuses of International Humanitarian Law and Humanitarian Principles

war while explicitly denying them political recognition. In contrast, civilians caught up in international conflicts subject to the Geneva Conventions were ignored until 1949. While the codification of armed conflict, whether international or domestic, was inspired by a desire to limit the violence, it gave the generals – not surprisingly – the final say in assessing ‘military necessity’, a key concept naturally covered by humanitarian law. A few years later, the German command used the Geneva Convention to justify their violence in putting down francs-tireurs in

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

to sociologist Mark Turner, ‘politics is potentially a part of any kidnapping, whatever the motivation of the kidnappers and even if they desire to keep politics out’ ( Turner, 1998 : 145–60). As a result, discussing abductions publicly does not automatically single out a humanitarian organisation as a special target but rather as a ‘sensitive’ one – not to mention that by breaking their code of silence, these organisations could better explain their operational decisions. In MSF’s case, for example, discussing the circumstances surrounding its volunteers

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

roaring economy and a wildly popular president. Its foreign policy reflects this confidence and a desire to break free of its older constraints.’ Now, less than a decade later, weeks before a general election, Brazilian democracy is not at all stable, the country is experiencing one of its worst ever economic crises, the current presidency has a 3 per cent approval rating and there isn’t a foreign policy to speak of. How does Brazil fit into this new ‘global disorder’? Confusion in the inter-state system arguably creates opportunities, especially for

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
From the Global to the Local

operationally) its strategy to Palestinians on the local level. In this context, significant risks are being borne both by those Palestinians who rely on UNRWA-provided services and by UNRWA’s Palestinian employees. Nonetheless, these impacts continue to be erased from view by a contract and risk-management culture that maintains the primacy of international (read: non-Palestinian) actors and ideological priorities. In the context of UNRWA’s institutional adaptation to long-standing financial crises, a push for cost-efficiency and the desire to

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

, is eroding. Both the right and the left have come to see in these liberal mechanisms barriers to the realisation of their most desired preferences (more aggressive chauvinism, more effective redistribution). Politics at the national level in the West has been shocked back into life after decades of malaise. The insistent questions are no longer technocratic but substantive, with attitudes to ‘the other’ a pivotal part of these conversations globally. In 2018, Freedom House recorded its twelfth consecutive year of decline in freedom worldwide, with

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs

Despite the imperative for change in a world of persistent inequality, racism, oppression and violence, difficulties arise once we try to bring about a transformation. As scholars, students and activists, we may want to change the world, but we are not separate, looking in, but rather part of the world ourselves. The book demonstrates that we are not in control: with all our academic rigour, we cannot know with certainty why the world is the way it is, or what impact our actions will have. It asks what we are to do, if this is the case, and engages with our desire to seek change. Chapters scrutinise the role of intellectuals, experts and activists in famine aid, the Iraq war, humanitarianism and intervention, traumatic memory, enforced disappearance, and the Grenfell Tower fire, and examine the fantasy of security, contemporary notions of time, space and materiality, and ideas of the human and sentience. Plays and films by Michael Frayn, Chris Marker and Patricio Guzmán are considered, and autobiographical narrative accounts probe the author’s life and background. The book argues that although we might need to traverse the fantasy of certainty and security, we do not need to give up on hope.

Open Access (free)

inevitability of a lack or an excess – in other words, the impossibility of certainty – does not mean abandoning hope, or giving up on dreams altogether. EDKINS 9781526119032 PRINT.indd 214 22/02/2019 08:35 conclusion 215 A problem arises, Lauren Berlant tells us, when what we are holding on to, what we desire, is actually what is holding us back. She points to the example of a violent relationship, where we know it is doing us harm, destroying us even, but yet we cannot give up on it – because we cannot see ourselves surviving without it. She calls this ‘cruel

in Change and the politics of certainty
Open Access (free)
Individuals acting together

does not get some overbalancing good from his sacrifice, and no one is entitled to force this upon him. 22 According to the doctrine, it is particularly important to bundle together the desires of a single individual. By contrast, no special importance attaches to a bundle which represents the desires of different individuals for the same end. That explains why the doctrine is invoked to

in Political concepts