David Rieff

established global order has been greatly exaggerated, then you will doubt that those changes are likely to pose any existential challenge to the humanitarian international, be it in terms of the efficacy of what relief groups do in the field or in terms of the political and moral legitimacy they can aspire to enjoy. But if, on the contrary, you believe that we are living in the last days of a doomed system – established in the aftermath of World War II and dominated by the US – then the humanitarian international is no more likely to survive (or to put

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

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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

Introduction The first thing to say about liberal order is that it hasn’t been that liberal. Since the Second World War, the production of subjects obeisant to the rule of liberal institutions has depended on illiberal and authoritarian methods – not least on the periphery of the world system, where conversion to Western reason has been pursued with particularly millenarian zeal, and violence. The wishful idea of an ever more open and global market economy has been continuously undermined by its champions, with their subsidies

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

innovation can be any more effective than the past relief efforts it now disavows. Rather than system failure, just as important is that the world has changed. Societies are more fragmented and unequal than before ( Piketty, 2014 ). International space has striated into fast, slow and stopped lanes ( Brown, 2010 ) as debt, precarity and anger have flourished ( Mishra, 2017 ). Rather than correcting past mistakes, humanitarian innovation is embarked on a wholly different project. It is helping create the systems and structures to govern global precarity

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

War. US hegemony was almost incontestable. The US of course still faced certain political challenges, but the concepts guiding international relations at this time, authored by the US, were dominant. We would hear about ‘reaching out’ and, later, Obama’s formulation ‘leading from behind’, but always leading. Returning to the main change we see today… of course, there are forces that have been working for a long time… Trump arrives and says: ‘No, I don’t want a global order. I prefer global disorder.’ I am referring here only to what is manifest

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Olivia Umurerwa Rutazibwa

order. 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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
José Luís Fiori

collectively from a long battle within the American establishment, in which the military has, for the time being, gained the upper hand over civil servants and career politicians, with their cosmopolitan project of liberal order and rules-based global governance, initiated after the Second World War and expanded after the Cold War. If this victory is consolidated, it will bring an end to the American messianism of the twentieth century, with its division of the world between ‘good’ and ‘evil’, its globalising imperative to reorganise the world through the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

After three special issues of the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs – on humanitarianism and the end of liberal order, humanitarian security and humanitarian innovation – the first regular issue includes a range of articles touching on questions that at the time of writing are largely off the radar of global public attention. When the journal’s editorial board compiled the contributions to this issue, it could not have foreseen the first pandemic of the twenty-first century: Covid-19. The same eyes that now frantically pore over graphs showing the evolution

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Róisín Read

‘imaginary of humanitarian, development and peacebuilding work’ carried out by ‘white, able-bodied, heterosexual, male staff from the Global North’ (page 4) that no longer reflect the realities of the way this work is done, if it ever did. They note, reinforcing the points made by Riley, that for many the threat comes from within the sector itself, something security training fails to take account of. They call for more inclusive representation in the humanitarian security sector to ‘help to

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Corporations, Celebrities and the Construction of the Entrepreneurial Refugee Woman
Annika Bergman Rosamond and Catia Gregoratti

beyond borders. Yet, UNHCR-endorsed corporate and celebrity humanitarians are located within immense privilege and power, as well as being immersed in the colonial, gendered and capitalist logics of humanitarianism, rather than being wedded to the transformation of the global order and decoloniality ( Bergman Rosamond, 2015 , 2016 ). Directly relevant is also the contention that humanitarian actors, many of whom are located within a neoliberal feminist logic

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs