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John Holmes was the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs from 2007 until 2010. His work took him to some of the most troubled areas of the world: to Sri Lanka, Darfur, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among other places, and exposed him to the harsh realities of humanitarian aid. Frequently he found that the UN's humanitarian programmes in these hotspots were tolerated but consistently undermined and mistrusted by both sides in any conflict, and its efforts to protect civilians and provide humanitarian relief frustrated by people working for purely political ends. Clear-eyed about the realities of development aid, Holmes realised early on that his role was to be a voice to the voiceless. THE POLITICS OF HUMANITY exposes, in often depressing detail, how difficult this job is, as well as analysing and exploring in great depth the wider policy questions of his role.
In this moment of unprecedented humanitarian crises, the representations of global disasters are increasingly common media themes around the world. The Routledge Companion to Media and Humanitarian Action explores the interconnections between media, old and new, and the humanitarian challenges that have come to define the twenty-first century. Contributors, including media professionals and experts in humanitarian affairs, grapple with what kinds of media language, discourse, terms, and campaigns can offer enough context and background knowledge to nurture informed global citizens. Case studies of media practices, content analysis and evaluation of media coverage, and representations of humanitarian emergencies and affairs offer further insight into the ways in which strategic communications are designed and implemented in field of humanitarian action.
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.
Innovation in the world institutions and global politics as well as in the physical environment and practices of the contemporary societies has raised the need for specific and up-to-date knowledge about the politics and policies of relief, aid and reconstruction. This book advances the political analysis of international disaster policies which have been mostly in the domain of other social sciences. Attina looks at the formation of this field of study and analyses the most recent disaster events including the Haiti earthquake, the tsunami which hit the Pacific Ocean countries and the genocide in Rwanda and Former Yugoslavia. Broadly linked to constructivism and neo-institutionalism, this book looks also at the impact of these cooperation policies on the governance of the present global system.
In ihrem fulminanten, komisch-tragischen, autobiographischen Debütroman erzählt Négar Djavadi aus der Sicht ihres Alter Egos Kimiâ Sadr die Geschichte ihrer Familie, die aus Iran stammt. Ein zweiter Erzählstrang betrifft Kimiâ selbst und ihre Schwangerschaft. Die klappt nur mit Hilfe der Medizin und der Mann dazu ist auch nur geliehen – Kimiâ liebt eher Frauen. In Teheran geboren und seit zehn Jahren im Pariser Exil, hat Kimiâ stets versucht, ihr Land, ihre Kultur, ihre Familie auf Abstand zu halten. Doch die Geister der Vergangenheit holen sie wieder ein, um in einem überwältigenden Bilderreigen die Geschichte der Familie Sadr in drei Generationen vor ihr abzuspulen: die Drangsale im Leben der Ahnen, ein Jahrzehnt der politischen Revolution, die Winkelgassen der Adoleszenz, berauschende Rockmusik, das schelmische Lächeln einer blonden Bassistin. Und dann gibt es, im dunklen Kern dieses atemberaubenden Romans über den Iran von gestern und das Frankreich von heute, noch eine furchtbare Geschichte zu erzählen
In the decades before the Revolution, Americans and Britons shared an imperial approach to helping those in need during times of disaster and hardship. They worked together on charitable ventures designed to strengthen the British empire, and ordinary men and women made donations for faraway members of the British community. Growing up in this world of connections, future activists from the British Isles, North America, and the West Indies developed expansive outlooks and transatlantic ties. The schism created by the Revolution fractured the community that nurtured this generation of philanthropists. In From Empire to Humanity, Amanda Moniz tells the story of a generation of American and British activists who transformed humanitarianism as they adjusted to being foreigners. American independence put an end to their common imperial humanitarianism, but not their friendships, their far-reaching visions, or their belief that philanthropy was a tool of statecraft. In the postwar years, these philanthropists, led by doctor-activists, collaborated on the anti-drowning cause, spread new medical charities, combatted the slave trade, reformed penal practices, and experimented with relieving needy strangers. The nature of their cooperation, however, had changed. No longer members of the same polity, they adopted a universal approach to their benevolence, working together for the good of humanity, rather than empire. Making the care of suffering strangers routine, these British and American activists laid the groundwork for later generations' global undertakings. From Empire to Humanity offers new perspectives on the history of philanthropy, as well as the Atlantic world and colonial and postcolonial history.
Der homo sacer ist die Verkörperung einer archaischen römischen Rechtsfigur: Zwar durfte er straflos getötet, nicht aber geopfert werden, was auch seine Tötung sinnlos und ihn gleichsam unberührbar machte – woraus sich der Doppelsinn von sacer als ›verflucht‹ und ›geheiligt‹ ableitet. Giorgio Agamben stellt im Anschluß an Foucault und als philosophische Korrektur von dessen Konzept der Biopolitik die These auf, daß Biopolitik, indem sie den Menschen auf einen biologischen Nullwert zurückzuführen versucht, das nackte Leben zum eigentlichen Subjekt der Moderne macht. Ausgehend von Carl Schmitts Souveränitätskonzept, kommt Agamben zu einer Interpretation des Konzentrationslagers als »nomos der Moderne«, wo Recht und Tat, Regel und Ausnahme, Leben und Tod ununterscheidbar werden. In den zwischen Leben und Tod siechenden Häftlingen, aber auch in den Flüchtlingen von heute sieht er massenhaft real gewordene Verkörperungen des homo sacer und des nackten Lebens. Die philosophische Begründung dessen, daß diese Möglichkeit keineswegs nur historisch ist, hat eine Diskussion entfacht, die weit über Italien und Europa hinausreicht.

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