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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

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
The Law and Politics of Responding to Attacks against Aid Workers
Julia Brooks and Rob Grace

lines’ and coordinating negotiation approaches across different organisations can empower humanitarian organisations to tilt an asymmetric power dynamic – by which humanitarian organisations need to reach an agreement with their interlocutors more than vice versa – in the humanitarians’ favour. There are, of course, numerous contexts where humanitarian organisations have adopted joint operating principles or protocols at the country level ( Harmer et al. , 2018 ). However, the humanitarian sector is fragmented, with disparate interpretations of where ‘red lines

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Model for Historical Reflection in the Humanitarian Sector
Kevin O’Sullivan and Réiseal Ní Chéilleachair

responsiveness among humanitarian agencies, and the value of seeking knowledge from outside the traditional parameters of humanitarian studies. The main body of the article outlines the aims and implementation of the project and puts forward four principles on which a workable model of reflective practice might be developed. Our objective is not to establish a single transferable framework for historical reflection. Rather, we hope to open a conversation about the ways in which the

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editors’ Introduction
Tanja R. Müller and Gemma Sou

efficiency, terms arguably more expected in a business environment than the field of humanitarianism. This has resulted, maybe not so unexpectedly, in a state of affairs where the main focus of innovation in relation to humanitarian action has remained on technical fixes or the development of new products, rather than a broader conception that interrogates innovation in a more holistic way, related to overarching humanitarian principles, strategies and partnerships. This understanding of innovation as a fix was

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Michaël Neuman, Fernando Espada and Róisín Read

trend to shift the use of risk management from enabling operations and facilitating access to populations to protecting the organisation from legal or reputational risks. All the contributions demonstrate that a reliance on international humanitarian law (IHL) and humanitarian principles to ensure the security of humanitarian teams and projects might well be unfounded. Rony Brauman offers his own historical perspective, challenging the idea of humanitarian exceptionalism and the protective function of IHL and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Response to the Journal of Humanitarian Affairs Special Issue on Innovation in Humanitarian Action (JHA, 1:3)
Anna Skeels

understand … the importance of adhering to humanitarian principles and standards. The opportunities for impact are huge … but so are the risks…. The Humanitarian Innovation Guide is an attempt to provide these two audiences – humanitarian practitioners and social entrepreneurs – with a grounded framework for managing a successful innovation process. Through such outputs and the facilitation of effective partnerships for innovation at both project and system levels, the extent and nature of collaboration on humanitarian innovation has also developed and evolved. Finally

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
A Framework for Measuring Effectiveness in Humanitarian Response
Vincenzo Bollettino and Birthe Anders

militaries and humanitarian aid agencies can be beneficial for the timely delivery of aid. This engagement can take many different forms, from mere coexistence to communication, coordination and direct cooperation. It is also often unavoidable when trying to gain access to areas controlled by military or non-state armed actors. However, such engagement also comes with risks. Sometimes these are security risks, or risks to the humanitarian principles of impartiality and neutrality. Crucially, it is difficult to assess these risks and/or potential benefits in the absence of

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Open Access (free)
Fernando Espada

and that only presents mixed results in the so-called civil–military coordination in humanitarian responses. The challenge for humanitarian agencies to work effectively and according to their missions and principles while cohabitating the same spaces (geographical and others) as military and non-state armed actors has been a headache for decades. Contexts of violent conflict are usually examples of all that can go wrong when civil–military coordination is not prioritised. But those are not the only contexts where humanitarian agencies struggle to find and protect

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Staff Security and Civilian Protection in the Humanitarian Sector
Miriam Bradley

humanitarian project that is centrally defined both by the idea of equality and by the idea of charity for distant others ( Fassin, 2012 ; Harrell-Bond, 2002 ). The article focuses on the work of the larger Western-based and civilian humanitarian actors – including UN agencies and international non-governmental organisations that are guided by the principles of humanity and impartiality. Such actors are not homogenous, and staff-security and civilian-protection practices vary

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
Editor’s Introduction
Juliano Fiori

, provided particularly American inspiration for the post-war development of liberal global governance. 1 But the principles of great-power trusteeship and balancing, reflected in the Dumbarton Oaks proposals in 1944, were decisive in the creation of the United Nations. 2 Despite the early proliferation of liberal institutions under the aegis of the UN, Cold War prerogatives undermined cosmopolitan aspirations for world government. Cancelling each other out in the Security Council, the US and the Soviet Union prioritised bilateral negotiations. UN

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs