A Bed for the Night

Humanitarianism in Crisis

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1439127271

Category: Political Science

Page: 400

View: 1321

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Timely and controversial, A Bed for the Night reveals how humanitarian organizations trying to bring relief in an ever more violent and dangerous world are often betrayed and misused, and have increasingly lost sight of their purpose. Humanitarian relief workers, writes David Rieff, are the last of the just. And in the Bosnias, the Rwandas, and the Afghanistans of this world, humanitarianism remains the vocation of helping people when they most desperately need help, when they have lost or stand at risk of losing everything they have, including their lives. Although humanitarianism's accomplishments have been tremendous, including saving countless lives, the lesson of the past ten years of civil wars and ethnic cleansing is that it can do only so much to alleviate suffering. Aid workers have discovered that while trying to do good, their efforts may also cause harm. Drawing on firsthand reporting from hot war zones around the world -- Bosnia, Rwanda, Congo, Kosovo, Sudan, and most recently Afghanistan -- Rieff describes how the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the International Rescue Committee, CARE, Oxfam, and other humanitarian organizations have moved from their founding principle of political neutrality, which gave them access to victims of wars, to encouraging the international community to take action to stop civil wars and ethnic cleansing. This advocacy has come at a high price. By calling for intervention -- whether by the United Nations or by "coalitions of the willing" -- humanitarian organizations risk being seen as taking sides in a conflict and thus jeopardizing their access to victims. And by overreaching, the humanitarian movement has allowed itself to be hijacked by the major powers, at times becoming a fig leaf for actions those powers wish to take for their own interests, or for the major powers' inaction. Rieff concludes that if humanitarian organizations are to do what they do best -- alleviate suffering -- they must reclaim their independence. Except for relief workers themselves, no one has looked at humanitarian action as seriously or as unflinchingly, or has had such unparalleled access to its inner workings, as Rieff, who has traveled and lived with aid workers over many years and four continents. A cogent, hard-hitting report from the front lines, A Bed for the Night shows what international aid organizations must do if they are to continue to care for the victims of humanitarian disasters.

Humanitarianism in Question

Politics, Power, Ethics

Author: Michael Barnett,Thomas G. Weiss

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801465087

Category: Political Science

Page: 320

View: 4453

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Years of tremendous growth in response to complex emergencies have left a mark on the humanitarian sector. Various matters that once seemed settled are now subjects of intense debate. What is humanitarianism? Is it limited to the provision of relief to victims of conflict, or does it include broader objectives such as human rights, democracy promotion, development, and peacebuilding? For much of the last century, the principles of humanitarianism were guided by neutrality, impartiality, and independence. More recently, some humanitarian organizations have begun to relax these tenets. The recognition that humanitarian action can lead to negative consequences has forced humanitarian organizations to measure their effectiveness, to reflect on their ethical positions, and to consider not only the values that motivate their actions but also the consequences of those actions. In the indispensable Humanitarianism in Question, Michael Barnett and Thomas G. Weiss bring together scholars from a variety of disciplines to address the humanitarian identity crisis, including humanitarianism's relationship to accountability, great powers, privatization and corporate philanthropy, warlords, and the ethical evaluations that inform life-and-death decision making during and after emergencies.

From Empire to Community

A New Approach to International Relations

Author: Amitai Etzioni

Publisher: St. Martin's Press

ISBN: 1466889136

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 8216

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Whether one favors the U.S. global projection of force or is horrified by it, the question stands - where do we go from here? What ought to be the new global architecture? Amitai Etzioni follows a third way, drawing on both neoconservative and liberal ideas, in this bold new look at international relations. He argues that a "clash of civilizations" can be avoided and that the new world order need not look like America. Eastern values, including spirituality and moderate Islam, have a legitimate place in the evolving global public philosophy. Nation-states, Etzioni argues, can no longer attend to rising transnational problems, from SARS to trade in sex slaves to cybercrime. Global civil society does help, but without some kind of global authority, transnational problems will overwhelm us. The building blocks of this new order can be found in the war against terrorism, multilateral attempts at deproliferation, humanitarian interventions and new supranational institutions (e.g., the governance of the Internet). Basic safety, human rights, and global social issues, such as environmental protection, are best solved cooperatively, and Etzioni explores ways of creating global authorities robust enough to handle these issues as he outlines the journey from "empire to community."

Biosecurity Interventions

Global Health and Security in Question

Author: Andrew Lakoff,Stephen J Collier

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511779

Category: Medical

Page: 312

View: 6105

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In recent years, new disease threats such as SARS, avian flu, mad cow disease, and drug-resistant strains of malaria and tuberculosis have garnered media attention and galvanized political response. Proposals for new approaches to "securing health" against these threats have come not only from public health and medicine but also from such fields as emergency management, national security, and global humanitarianism. This volume provides a map of this complex and rapidly transforming terrain. The editors focus on how experts, public officials, and health practitioners work to define what it means to "secure health" through concrete practices such as global humanitarian logistics, pandemic preparedness measures, vaccination campaigns, and attempts to regulate potentially dangerous new biotechnologies. As the contributions show, despite impressive activity in these areas, the field of "biosecurity interventions" remains unstable. Many basic questions are only beginning to be addressed: Who decides what counts as a biosecurity problem? Who is responsible for taking action, and how is the efficacy of a given intervention to be evaluated? It is crucial to address such questions today, when responses to new problems of health and security are still taking shape. In this context, this volume offers a form of critical and reflexive knowledge that examines how technical efforts to increase biosecurity relate to the political and ethical challenges of living with risk.

Burma Redux

Global Justice and the Quest for Political Reform in Myanmar

Author: Ian Holliday

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231504241

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 6084

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Contemporary Myanmar faces a number of political challenges, and it is unclear how other nations should act in relation to the country. Prioritizing the opinions of local citizens and reading them against the latest scholarship on this issue, Ian Holliday affirms the importance of foreign interests in Myanmar's democratic awakening, yet only through committed, grassroots strategies of engagement encompassing foreign states, international aid agencies, and global corporations. Holliday supports his argument by using multiple sources and theories, particularly ones that take historical events, contemporary political and social investigations, and global justice literature into account, as well as studies that focus on the effects of democratic transition, the aid industry, and socially responsible corporate investing and sanctions. One of the only volumes to apply broad-ranging global justice theories to a real-world nation in flux, Burma Redux will appeal to professionals researching Burma/Myanmar; political advisers and advocacy groups; nonspecialists interested in Southeast Asian politics and society and the local and international problems posed by pariah states; general readers who seek a richer understanding of the country beyond journalistic accounts; and the Burmese people themselves—both within the country and in diaspora. Burma Redux is also the first book-length study on the nation to be completed after the contentious general elections of 2010.

At the Point of a Gun

Democratic Dreams and Armed Intervention

Author: David Rieff

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

ISBN: 1476737487

Category: Political Science

Page: 288

View: 1717

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Veteran journalist David Rieff’s essays draw a searing portrait of what happens when the grandiose schemes of policymakers and human rights activists go horribly wrong in the field. Writing for publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to The Nation to France’s Le Monde, David Rieff witnessed firsthand most of the armed interventions since the Cold War waged by the West or the United Nations in the name of human rights and democratization. In this timely collection of his most illuminating articles, Rieff, one of our leading experts on the subject, reassesses some of his own judgments about the use of military might to solve the world’s most pressing humanitarian problems. At the Point of a Gun raises critical questions we cannot ignore in this era of gunboat democracy. When, if ever, is it appropriate to intervene militarily in the domestic affairs of other nations? Are human rights and humanitarian concerns legitimate reasons for intervening, or is the assault on sovereignty a flag of convenience for the recolonization of part of the world? And, above all, can democracy be imposed through the barrel of an M16? This is not an optimistic report, but the questions Rieff raises are of the essence as the United States grapples with the harsh consequences of what it has wrought on the ground in Afghanistan and Iraq.

A Companion to Moral Anthropology

Author: Didier Fassin

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 1118290585

Category: Social Science

Page: 664

View: 2744

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A Companion to Moral Anthropology is the first collective consideration of the anthropological dimensions of morals, morality, and ethics. Original essays by international experts explore the various currents, approaches, and issues in this important new discipline, examining topics such as the ethnography of moralities, the study of moral subjectivities, and the exploration of moral economies. Investigates the central legacies of moral anthropology, the formation of moral facts and values, the context of local moralities, and the frontiers between moralities, politics, humanitarianism Features contributions from pioneers in the field of moral anthropology, as well as international experts in related fields such as moral philosophy, moral psychology, evolutionary biology and neuroethics

Regarding the Pain of Others

Author: Susan Sontag

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

ISBN: 1466853573

Category: Social Science

Page: 144

View: 7034

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A brilliant, clear-eyed new consideration of the visual representation of violence in our culture--its ubiquity, meanings, and effects Watching the evening news offers constant evidence of atrocity--a daily commonplace in our "society of spectacle." But are viewers inured -or incited--to violence by the daily depiction of cruelty and horror? Is the viewer's perception of reality eroded by the universal availability of imagery intended to shock? In her first full-scale investigation of the role of imagery in our culture since her now-classic book On Photography defined the terms of the debate twenty-five years ago, Susan Sontag cuts through circular arguments about how pictures can inspire dissent or foster violence as she takes a fresh look at the representation of atrocity--from Goya's The Disasters of War to photographs of the American Civil War, lynchings of blacks in the South, and Dachau and Auschwitz to contemporary horrific images of Bosnia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, and New York City on September 11, 2001. As John Berger wrote when On Photography was first published, "All future discussions or analysis of the role of photography in the affluent mass-media societies is now bound to begin with her book." Sontag's new book, a startling reappraisal of the intersection of "information", "news," "art," and politics in the contemporary depiction of war and disaster, will be equally essential. It will forever alter our thinking about the uses and meanings of images in our world.

Aid Dependence in Cambodia

How Foreign Assistance Undermines Democracy

Author: Sophal Ear

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231530927

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 9387

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International intervention liberated Cambodia from pariah state status in the early 1990s and laid the foundations for more peaceful, representative rule. Yet the country's social indicators and the integrity of its political institutions declined rapidly within a few short years, while inequality grew dramatically. Conducting an unflinching investigation into these developments, Sophal Ear reveals the pernicious effects of aid dependence and its perversion of Cambodian democracy. International intervention and foreign aid resulted in higher maternal (and possibly infant and child) mortality rates and unprecedented corruption by the mid-2000s. Similarly, in example after example, Ear finds the more aid dependent a country, the more distorted its incentives to develop sustainably. Contrasting Cambodia's clothing sector with its rice and livestock sectors and internal handling of the avian flu epidemic, he showcases the international community's role in preventing Cambodia from controlling its national development. A postconflict state unable to refuse aid, Cambodia is rife with trial-and-error donor experiments and their unintended consequences, such as bad governance and poor domestic and tax revenue performance—a major factor curbing sustainable, nationally owned growth. By outlining the terms through which countries can achieve better ownership of their development, Ear offers alternatives for governments still on the brink of collapse, despite ongoing dependence on foreign intervention and aid.

The Image before the Weapon

a critical history of the distinction between combatant and civilian

Author: Helen M. Kinsella

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801461262

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 5907

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Since at least the Middle Ages, the laws of war have distinguished between combatants and civilians under an injunction now formally known as the principle of distinction. The principle of distinction is invoked in contemporary conflicts as if there were an unmistakable and sure distinction to be made between combatant and civilian. As is so brutally evident in armed conflicts, it is precisely the distinction between civilian and combatant, upon which the protection of civilians is founded, cannot be taken as self-evident or stable. Helen M. Kinsella documents that the history of international humanitarian law itself admits the difficulty of such a distinction. In The Image Before the Weapon, Kinsella explores the evolution of the concept of the civilian and how it has been applied in warfare. A series of discourses-including gender, innocence, and civilization- have shaped the legal, military, and historical understandings of the civilian and she documents how these discourses converge at particular junctures to demarcate the difference between civilian and combatant. Engaging with works on the law of war from the earliest thinkers in the Western tradition, including St. Thomas Aquinas and Christine de Pisan, to contemporary figures such as James Turner Johnson and Michael Walzer, Kinsella identifies the foundational ambiguities and inconsistencies in the principle of distinction, as well as the significant role played by Christian concepts of mercy and charity. She then turns to the definition and treatment of civilians in specific armed conflicts: the American Civil War and the U.S.-Indian Wars of the nineteenth century, and the civil wars of Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s. Finally, she analyzes the two modern treaties most influential for the principle of distinction: the 1949 IV Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Times of War and the 1977 Protocols Additional to the 1949 Conventions, which for the first time formally defined the civilian within international law. She shows how the experiences of the two world wars, but particularly World War II, and the Algerian war of independence affected these subsequent codifications of the laws of war. As recognition grows that compliance with the principle of distinction to limit violence against civilians depends on a firmer grasp of its legal, political, and historical evolution, The Image before the Weapon is a timely intervention in debates about how best to protect civilian populations.

Reporting Disasters

Famine, Aid, Politics and the Media

Author: Suzanne Franks

Publisher: Hurst

ISBN: 1849044953

Category: Social Science

Page: 256

View: 3830

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The media reporting of the Ethiopian Famine in 1984-5 was an iconic news event. It is widely believed to have had an unprecedented impact, challenging perceptions of Africa and mobilising public opinion and philanthropic action in a dramatic new way. The contemporary international configuration of aid, media pressure, and official policy is still directly affected and sometimes distorted by what was--as this narrative shows--also an inaccurate and misleading story. In popular memory, the reporting of Ethiopia and the resulting humanitarian intervention were a great success. Yet alternative interpretations give a radically different picture of misleading journalism and an aid effort which did more harm than good. Using privileged access to BBC and Government archives, Reporting Disasters examines and reveals the internal factors which drove BBC news and offers a rare case study of how the media can affect public opinion and policymaking. It constructs the process that accounts for the immensity of the news event, following the response at the heart of government to the pressure of public opinion. And it shows that while the reporting and the altruistic festival that it produced triggered remarkable and identifiable changes, the on-going impact was not what the conventional account claims it to have been.

Forgetting Children Born of War

Setting the Human Rights Agenda in Bosnia and Beyond

Author: Charli Carpenter

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231522304

Category: Political Science

Page: 304

View: 4061

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Sexual violence and exploitation occur in many conflict zones, and the children born of such acts face discrimination, stigma, and infanticide. Yet the massive transnational network of organizations working to protect war-affected children has, for two decades, remained curiously silent on the needs of this vulnerable population. Focusing specifically on the case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, R. Charli Carpenter questions the framing of atrocity by human rights organizations and the limitations these narratives impose on their response. She finds that human rights groups set their agendas according to certain grievances-the claims of female rape victims or the complaints of aggrieved minorities, for example-and that these concerns can overshadow the needs of others. Incorporating her research into a host of other conflict zones, Carpenter shows that the social construction of rights claims is contingent upon the social construction of wrongs. According to Carpenter, this pathology prevents the full protection of children born of war.

Not a Choice, Not a Job

Exposing the Myths about Prostitution and the Global Sex Trade

Author: JANICE G. RAYMOND

Publisher: Potomac Books, Inc.

ISBN: 1612346278

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 9555

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A generation ago, most people did not know how ubiquitous and grave human trafficking was. Now many people agree that the $35.7 billion business is an appalling violation of human rights. But when confronted with prostitution, many people experience an odd disconnect because prostitution is shrouded in myths, among them the claims that ôprostitution is inevitable,ö and ôprostitution is a job or service like any other.ö In Not a Choice, Not a Job, Janice Raymond challenges both the myths and their perpetrators. Raymond demonstrates that prostitution is not sex but sexual exploitation, and that legalizing and decriminalizing the system of prostitutionùas opposed to the prostituted womenùpromotes sex trafficking, expands the sex industry, and invites organized crime. Specifically, Raymond exposes how legalized prostitution in the Netherlands, Germany, Australia, and Nevada worsens crime and endangers women. In contrast, she reveals, when governments work to prevent the demand for prostitution by prosecuting pimps, brothels, and prostitution usersùas in Norway, Sweden, and Icelandùtrafficking does not increase, women are better protected, and fewer men buy sex. Raymond expands the boundaries of scholarship in womenÆs studies, making this book indispensable to human rights advocates around the world.

Humanitarian Business

Author: Thomas G. Weiss

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745665225

Category: Political Science

Page: 200

View: 1084

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With some 50 million people living under duress and threatened by wars and disasters in 2012, the demand for relief worldwide has reached unprecedented levels. Humanitarianism is now a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and aid agencies are obliged to respond to a range of economic forces in order to 'stay in business'. In his customarily hard-hitting analysis, Thomas G. Weiss offers penetrating insights into the complexities and challenges of the contemporary humanitarian marketplace. In addition to changing political and military conditions that generate demand for aid, private suppliers have changed too. Today’s political economy places aid agencies side-by-side with for-profit businesses, including private military and security companies, in a marketplace that also is linked to global trade networks in illicit arms, natural resources, and drugs. This witch’s brew is simmering in the cauldron of wars that are often protracted and always costly to civilians who are the very targets of violence. While belligerents put a price-tag on access to victims, aid agencies pursue branding in a competition for 'scarce' resources relative to the staggering needs. As marketization encroaches on traditional humanitarianism, it seems everything may have a priceÑfrom access and principles, to moral authority and lives.

Shaping the Humanitarian World

Author: Peter Walker,Daniel G. Maxwell

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135977429

Category: Political Science

Page: 176

View: 7920

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Providing a critical introduction to the notion of humanitarianism in global politics, tracing the concept from its origins to the twenty-first century, this book examines how the so called international community works in response to humanitarian crises and the systems that bind and divide them. By tracing the history on international humanitarian action from its early roots through the birth of the Red Cross to the beginning of the UN, Peter Walker and Daniel G. Maxwell examine the challenges humanitarian agencies face, from working alongside armies and terrorists to witnessing genocide. They argue that humanitarianism has a vital future, but only if those practicing it choose to make it so. Topics covered include: the rise in humanitarian action as a political tool the growing call for accountability of agencies the switch of NGOs from bit players to major trans-national actors the conflict between political action and humanitarian action when it comes to addressing causes as well as symptoms of crisis. This book is essential reading for anyone with an interest in international human rights law, disaster management and international relations.

Refugees, Theatre and Crisis

Performing Global Identities

Author: A. Jeffers

Publisher: Springer

ISBN: 0230354823

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 197

View: 5752

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Using examples of refugee arts and theatrical activity since the 1990s, this book examines how the 'refugee crisis' has conditioned all arts and cultural activity with refugees in a world where globalization and migration go hand in hand.

The Long War

A New History of U.S. National Security Policy Since World War II

Author: Andrew J. Bacevich

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231505868

Category: History

Page: 608

View: 4439

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Essays by a diverse and distinguished group of historians, political scientists, and sociologists examine the alarms, emergencies, controversies, and confusions that have characterized America's Cold War, the post-Cold War interval of the 1990s, and today's "Global War on Terror." This "Long War" has left its imprint on virtually every aspect of American life; by considering it as a whole, The Long War is the first volume to take a truly comprehensive look at America's response to the national-security crisis touched off by the events of World War II. Contributors consider topics ranging from grand strategy and strategic bombing to ideology and economics and assess the changing American way of war and Hollywood's surprisingly consistent depiction of Americans at war. They evaluate the evolution of the national-security apparatus and the role of dissenters who viewed the myriad activities of that apparatus with dismay. They take a fresh look at the Long War's civic implications and its impact on civil-military relations. More than a military history, The Long War examines the ideas, policies, and institutions that have developed since the United States claimed the role of global superpower. This protracted crisis has become a seemingly permanent, if not defining aspect of contemporary American life. In breaking down the old and artificial boundaries that have traditionally divided the postwar period into neat historical units, this volume provides a better understanding of the evolution of the United States and U.S. policy since World War II and offers a fresh perspective on our current national security predicament.

Humanitarian Intervention

Author: Thomas G. Weiss

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745660681

Category: Political Science

Page: 240

View: 825

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A singular development of the post Cold-War era is the use of military force to protect human beings. From Rwanda to Kosovo, Sierra Leone to East Timor, and more recently Libya to Côte d'Ivoire, soldiers have rescued some civilians in some of the world's most notorious war zones. Could more be saved? Drawing on over two decades of research, Thomas G. Weiss answers "yes" and provides a persuasive introduction to the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention in the modern world. He examines political, ethical, legal, strategic, economic, and operational dimensions and uses a wide range of cases to highlight key debates and controversies. The updated and expanded second edition of this succinct and highly accessible survey is neither celebratory nor complacent. The author locates the normative evolution of what is increasingly known as "the responsibility to protect" in the context of the global war on terror, UN debates, and such international actions as Libya. The result is an engaging exploration of the current dilemmas and future challenges for robust international humanitarian action in the twenty-first century.

Structures of Grace

Catholic Organizations Serving the Global Common Good

Author: Kevin Ahern

Publisher: Orbis Books

ISBN: 1608335488

Category: Religion

Page: 217

View: 2855

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