Category: Humanitarianism

“We are all fragile, but we are not all equally fragile”: Humanitarian operations amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

This piece is part of our blog series Beyond the COVID Curve. COVID-19 has quickly changed everything from our daily routines, to the policies of governments, to the fortunes of the global economy. How will it continue to shape society and the conditions for peace and conflict globally in the near future and long after we… Read more »

Governing Global Health Emergencies: the Role of Criminalization

The point of departure for this blog is the apparent frequency of criminalization strategies in early government responses to the Corona virus. While much attention has been given to the securitization of global health responses – also in the case of Corona – less systematic focus has been given to the partial criminalization of infectious… Read more »

Humanitarian governance and localization: What kind of world is being imagined and produced?

While localization is high on the agenda for humanitarian actors, at present, humanitarian governance does not support the localization agenda. To understand better why, we explore three issues underpinning humanitarian governance: the problem construction, consolidation and growth of the sector, and the sorting of civilians. We conclude that the localization agenda is important, but for… Read more »

New Directions in Humanitarian Governance: Technology, Juridification and Criminalization

According to an influential conception, humanitarian governance entails ‘the increasingly organized and internationalized attempt to save the lives, enhance the welfare, and reduce the suffering of the world’s most vulnerable populations.’ The actors involved in humanitarian governance include affected populations, civil society, host governments, the military, the private sector, international organisations and NGOs, and donors. Much… Read more »

Preventing the Work of Rescue Vessels in the Mediterranean Will Not Save More Migrants

The Norwegian-registered vessel Ocean Viking, operated by Médecins Sans Frontières, has recently been at the centre of a debate that has become dominated by one assumption: that search-and-rescue (SAR) operations are encouraging people to attempt to cross the Mediterranean.

Beyond False Dichotomies in Debates on Migration

Is there really an inherent conflict between pursuing national interests and acting in globally responsible ways on migration? We call for a debate that moves beyond an artificial dichotomy between the “headless heart” and the “heartless head”. A good start would be to acknowledge the salience and value of binding international agreements, regarding refugees and… Read more »

New Report on the Societal Ethics of Biometric Technologies

Biometric technologies are rapidly becoming integral to the governance of populations world-wide. Contemporary societies are networked by advanced biometric technologies of identity management that were inconceivable just a couple of decades ago. A report by Nina Boy, Elida K.U. Jacobsen and Kristoffer Lidén addresses the widespread ethical issues raised by the increasing use of biometric… Read more »

The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal Cost Refugees the Most

Note: On 18 March 2016, the EU and Turkey agreed on a deal to stop refugees from crossing the Mediterranean. At that time, Maria Gabrielsen Jumbert and Pinar Tank warned that the agreement was advantageous for Europe and Turkey but not for the refugees whose rights to protection were severely compromised. Three years later the… Read more »

The Needs, Challenges and Power Dynamics of Refugee Resettlement

This fall, the 73rd General Assembly of the United Nations (UN) was held in New York. The 193 UN member states gather annually to discuss, and sometimes act upon, global issues. Refugees were on the agenda in 2018, not only because numbers are historically high (25.4 million at the end of 2017) but also because… Read more »

The mass killing of women activists in Latin America: making political violence visible

In 2017, Latin America was described by the UN as the world’s most violent continent for women. The assassinations of women activists and community leaders have continued across the region in 2018. While the killing of Marielle Franco, a favela community leader, and the unraveling of government-private enterprise collusion in the 2016 killing of Berta… Read more »