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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

( Médecins sans Frontières, 2018 ) and the 2015 conference on the fundamental principles in ‘a critical historical perspective’, hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross. Projects like these were vital in opening questions about institutional (and sectoral) memory and communities of practice. Equally significantly, they grew in tandem with a rich vein of historical research. Michael Barnett’s Empire of Humanity (2011) broke new ground, and it was followed by diverse new histories of humanitarianism, the development of new partnerships between NGOs and the

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

-scale humanitarian intervention. We represent the Ebola response as a dynamic interaction between local populations, intermediaries and resource brokers, with uncertain outcomes that were negotiated over time and in response to rapidly changing conditions on the ground. A comparative approach allowed us to develop an analysis of the formation, negotiation and rejection of the legitimacy of local, national and international actors and interventions that had different implications for the duration of the epidemic and the effectiveness of the response in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra

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Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada and Róisín Read

practitioners and researchers. Contributors to the current issue are researchers – practitioners stimulated by reflecting around their work – and practitioners turned researchers, with some articles being written by four hands. Most of the authors would consider humanitarian aid not as an exact science but an art, or at least a craft characterised by the ‘irreducible uncertainties’ of the situations encountered by teams on the ground. As Champy argues ( Champy, 2018: 17 ), ‘when action is required in highly singular and complex situations, common solutions that can be

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When the Music Stops

Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order

Stephen Hopgood

worldview – where the suffering of strangers is a matter of concern, and a legitimate ground for principled intervention, for everyone – that humanitarianism and human rights enjoy full legitimacy. They are both morally grounded by the same ends, ends that have thrived under US-led liberal order for four decades (reaching their zenith from 1991 to 2011). During this time, both humanitarianism and human rights have provided a seemingly non-political (or perhaps ‘political’ not ‘Political’) outlet for religious and secular activists, many from the left

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Post-Humanitarianism

Governing Precarity through Adaptive Design

Mark Duffield

Introduction Drawing its energy from the wave of New Left and counter-cultural radicalism of the 1960s ( Boltanski and Chiapello, 2005 ), an NGO-led direct humanitarian action pushed onto the international stage during the 1970s. The radicalism of this new anti-establishment sans frontières humanitarianism lay in its political challenge to the conventions of Cold War sovereignty. By being there on the ground it sought to hold sovereign power to account, witnessing its excesses while professing a face-to-face humanitarian

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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

Introduction London, 10 September 2018 Since 2015, more than one and a half million people have traversed the Mediterranean, seeking asylum in Europe. The EU has been negotiating their screening and resettlement outside of Europe. European governments have closed some ports and borders to them. And neofascist groups from across Europe have rallied on the ground and online to prevent their entry. Thousands have died at sea. Multinational NGOs like Médecins Sans Frontières and Save the Children have carried out search

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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

project more broadly. The literature outlined above on best practices and institutional policies for staff security and civilian protection, together with work examining how these policies are implemented on the ground (see, for example, Beerli, 2018 ; Bradley, 2016 ; Hoffmann, 2017 ; Neuman, 2016b ; Soussan, 2016 ; Sutton, 2018 ), provides much of the data for comparing ‘staff security’ and ‘civilian protection’ in this article. Such a comparison is novel, with existing comparisons focusing on the differential treatment of different categories of staff or of

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Emmanuelle Strub

History Security-risk management has long been a concern at Médecins du Monde (MdM), as it was for other humanitarian agencies operating at the height of the Cold War. However, it was in the 1990s that security had to address its own set of issues. The collapse of the Soviet bloc and the post-Cold War conflicts created safety issues for humanitarian agencies: a booming aid sector led to an increase in exposure, together with a trend for humanitarian organisations to shift from working on the periphery of conflicts to the heart of them. Yugoslavia, Chechnya

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The Changing Faces of UNRWA

From the Global to the Local

Elena Fiddian-Qasmiyeh

deliver relief and services would create such abject living conditions (akin to Agamben’s ‘bare life’: Gordon, 2018 ) that Palestinians would be forced to accept what Trump and his administration have denominated the ‘deal of the century’ ( Gordon, 2018 ; Wong, 2018 ). Far from being motivated by an ‘ethics of care’ to protect displaced and dispossessed people, or a quest to secure a democratically grounded ‘liberal peace’, this ‘great deal’ can be identified as a quintessentially neoliberal project. Driven neither by ethics nor humanitarian

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Balkan holocausts?

Serbian and Croatian victim-centred propaganda and the war in Yugoslavia

Series:

David Bruce MacDonald

Comparing and contrasting propaganda in Serbia and Croatia from 1986 to 1999, this book analyses each group's contemporary interpretations of history and current events. It offers a detailed discussion of Holocaust imagery and the history of victim-centred writing in nationalist theory, including the links between the comparative genocide debate, the so-called Holocaust industry, and Serbian and Croatian nationalism. There is a detailed analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda over the Internet, detailing how and why the Internet war was as important as the ground wars in Kosovo, Croatia and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and a theme-by-theme analysis of Serbian and Croatian propaganda, using contemporary media sources, novels, academic works and journals.