This paper provides a critical analysis of post-humanitarianism with reference to adaptive
design. At a time when precarity has become a global phenomenon, the design principle has
sidelined the need for, or even the possibility of, political change. Rather than working to
eliminate precarity, post-humanitarianism is implicated in its reproduction and governance.
Central here is a historic change in how the human condition is understood. The rational
Homo economicus of modernism has been replaced by progressive
neoliberalism’s cognitively challenged and necessarily ignorant Homo
inscius. Solidarity with the vulnerable has given way to conditional empathy. Rather
than structural outcomes to be protected against, not only are humanitarian crises now seen as
unavoidable, they have become positively developmental. Post-humanitarianism no longer provides
material assistance – its aim is to change the behaviour of the precariat in order to
optimise its social reproduction. Together with the construction of logistical mega-corridors,
this process is part of late-capitalism’s incorporation of the vast informal economies
of the global South. Building on progressive neoliberalism’s antipathy towards formal
structures and professional standards, through a combination of behavioural economics,
cognitive manipulation and smart technology, post-humanitarianism is actively involved in the
elimination of the very power to resist.
An Interview with Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE
In this interview, Caroline Abu Sa’Da, General Director of SOS MEDITERRANEE Suisse,
discusses search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea, in particular those conducted
by her organisation. She explains that as a European citizen movement, SOS MEDITERRANEE has
adopted a hybrid and politicised approach, which represents a new kind of humanitarian
engagement. And she reflects on the challenges of protecting and supporting those crossing the
This paper questions the extent to which the (arguable) end of the liberal humanitarian order
is something to be mourned. Suggesting that current laments for the decline of humanitarianism
reflect a Eurocentric worldview, it calls for a fundamental revision of the assumptions
informing humanitarian scholarship. Decoloniality and anti-colonialism should be taken
seriously so as to not reproduce the same by a different name after the end of the liberal
The modern global humanitarian system takes the form it does because it is underpinned by
liberal world order. Now the viability of global liberal institutions is increasingly in doubt,
a backlash against humanitarianism (and human rights) has gained momentum. I will argue that
without liberal world order, global humanitarianism as we currently understand it is
impossible, confronting humanitarians with an existential choice: how might they function in a
world which doesn’t have liberal institutions at its core? The version of global
humanitarianism with which we are familiar might not survive this transition, but maybe other
forms of humanitarian action will emerge. What comes next might not meet the hopes of
today’s humanitarians, however. The humanitarian alliance with liberalism is no
accident, and if the world is less liberal, its version of humanitarian action is likely to be
less liberal too. Nevertheless, humanitarianism will fare better than its humanist twin, human
rights, in this new world.
An Interview with Celso Amorim, Former Brazilian Foreign Minister
In this interview, Celso Amorim, former Brazilian foreign minister, discusses changes in
global governance and their likely impact on international cooperation. He critically reflects
on his experiences in positioning Brazil on the world stage and democratising human rights. And
he considers whether the influence of Brazil and other Southern states is likely to continue
A dialogue with Islam as a pattern of conflict resolution and a security approach vis-à-vis Islamism
In this chapter Islamism is viewed as a variety of religious fundamentalism. The religion of Islam must be differentiated from the many varieties of Islamism as political ideology. In view of the developments in the post-bipolar Middle East, there is a clear connection between fundamentalism and security. Domestic and regional stability in the southern Mediterranean is needed, and the Islamization of politics is viewed as a security threat to peace in this region. Samuel Huntington recognizes what is termed the 'cultural turn' in seeing how cultures and civilizations play an increasingly important role in international politics. The major problem with his approach is that he believes civilizations can engage in world political conflicts. The chapter focuses on the attitudes of Islamic fundamentalists vis-a-vis the Arab-Israeli peace process. It examines the impact of the working hypothesis on the negative connection between peace and Islamism in the case of the Maghreb.
This chapter examines the concept of security through discursive contestation at the leadership level in a critical Middle Eastern case, that of Israel. It examines the specific discourses of security employed by opposing political groups during key periods in the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The chapter argues that failure to resolve the fundamental dispute among Palestinians and Israelis stems directly from the victory during the 1950s of the more hard-line militaristic Israeli approach towards state security and development. It discusses the shortcomings of a systemic or structural realist approach to the question of the Palestinian-Israeli peace. The chapter establishes a historical basis for the dispute between Israeli militarism and moderation with a focus on the critical period of the early to mid-1950s. It assesses the contemporary implications of the doctrines of militarism and moderation with regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict during the 1990s.
The architects of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) identified economic development as the main pillar of regional security and promoted three objectives: cooperation rather than conflict, regionalism as a step towards global integration, and avoidance of new divisions in Europe. Declarations and treaties adopted by the BSEC during its ten years of existence are important tools in identifying and assessing mechanisms for dealing with security issues within the BSEC framework. In 1996, the Assembly of the Western European Union (WEU) issued a call for security to be incorporated into the existing subregional cooperation structures, including the BSEC. The internal weakness of most BSEC countries in transition and their vulnerability to outside pressures, as well as their inadequate or absent integration into new security frameworks, have intensified the overall climate of regional insecurity.
This chapter uses comparative analysis to elucidate how the interaction between the system level and particular state formation paths shapes similarities and differences in states' international behaviour. What explains the similarities and differences in the foreign policy behaviour of Middle East states? As this chapter shows, neither state features nor systemic forces alone have an impact on foreign policy but the interrelation between a state's specific position in systemic structures and its particular internal features determines its foreign policy behaviour. The level of consolidation determines whether a state remains a victim of its systemic environment or becomes an effective actor in it. Finally, leadership, by virtue of its location at the intersection of the systemic and the domestic, can make choices that set states on new tangents.