Author: Kristin B. Sandvik

Refugee Resettlement as Humanitarian Governance: The Need for a Critical Research Agenda

This blog post suggests understanding refugee resettlement as an instrument of humanitarian governance from the selection of refugees to their long-term integration. It presents a five-point research agenda aiming to investigate resettlement’s power dynamics in multiscalar perspective, with a focus on: political economy; the UNHCR’s competing goals; and the role of discretion, persuasion and coercion… Read more »

African Drone Proliferation: The Meaning of Leapfrogging

The ongoing drone proliferation throughout Africa has received little critical attention. However, African drone proliferation has become a vehicle for the production and distribution of forms of legitimacy and of resources that have implications for drone proliferation both within and outside Africa.  More specifically, the percep­tion of Africa as being in need of external drone… Read more »

The Humanitarian Quest for Accountability: Examining the role of UNHCR

The European refugee crisis has been a difficult experience for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). On the one hand, UNHCR has been criticized by civil society and the humanitarian community for not being present on Greek islands. On the other hand, the organization has experienced difficulties in negotiating this access with Greek… Read more »

Insecurity in the Humanitarian Cyberspace: A Call for Innovation

Humanitarian practitioners and scholars are currently struggling with how to analyse the opportunities and challenges of technological innovation. This includes not only what technological innovation can do for humanitarianism but also what it does to humanitarian action. Over the last two decades, innovations have fueled the creation of a humanitarian cyberspace. It is now time… Read more »

Is The War on Drugs a Humanitarian Crisis?

Humanitarian actors increasingly look to frame the failure of the War on Drugs as an imperative for renewed engagement in Latin America. When leaders meet at UNGASS 2016 in April, legalization will be central in discussions, but issues of humanitarian encroachment should also be on the table. In Latin America, the four-decade long War on… Read more »

Futureproofing Humanitarianism for Permanent Emergencies: Unpacking the Promise of Cooperation

Despite the strong growth of the humanitarian sector, there is an increasing operational and financial deficit in the capacity of governments and humanitarian organizations to respond. This has led to calls for changes in the way such crises are understood and managed. As humanitarians grapple with what is increasingly imagined as a future of permanent… Read more »

New Developments in Drone Proliferation: How Africa was Deployed to Rescue Drones

Debates on global drone proliferation tend to assume that adoption and adaptation of drones follow a universal logic and that the drone industry is a singular thing, geographically concentrated in the Global North. In this blog post I argue that these assumptions make it difficult to critically assess the growth in drone use across Africa…. Read more »

An Academic New Year’s Resolution for Colombia: Understanding Continued Gendered Violence as a Threat to Positive Peace

Over the last decade, Colombia has been host to the world’s largest population of internally displaced people (IDP). In 2016, it is expected that the Colombian government and FARC will reach a peace agreement, marking the formal end of more than 50 years of civil war. It is widely recognized that this peace agreement will… Read more »

What’s Wrong with the Idea that ‘Robots don’t Rape’?

The politics of rape denunciation is fast becoming the politics of lobbyists, vendors and military manufacturers seeking access to new customers and markets. The recognition of wartime rape as a fundamental violation of international law has been a hard-fought victory. Ending rape and other forms of sexual violence in war ought to be a central… Read more »

Lethal Autonomous Weapons: Killing the ‘Robots-don’t-Rape’ Argument

Earlier this spring, we debated a law professor who insisted that lethal autonomous weapons (LAWS) could clean up war. The professor posited that a war fought with autonomous weapons would be a war without rape. Taking humans out of the loop would, the argument goes, lead to more humane war. We find this narrative, where… Read more »