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23 May 2010
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1. ICG: Libya – Achieving a ceasefire, moving toward legitimate government
2. The Economist: Responsibility to Protect: The lessons of Libya
3. AllAfrica.com: West has taken sides in Libyan civil war –Says Annan
 
1. Côte d’Ivoire –Reuters: ICC Prosecutor applies to investigate Ivory Coast violence
2. Darfur –Sudan Tribune: UNAMID moves to probe reports of airstrikes in north Darfur
3. Sudan –UN News Service: UN demands halt to fighting and troop withdrawal from Abyei
4. Syria --Human Rights Watch: Targeted arrests of activists across country
 
1. 24 May: Fordham University with Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Roméo Dallaire and Ishmael Beah : They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children
2. Call for Papers –Journal of Human Rights issue on “Humanitarianism and Responsibility”
 
 
 
On 10 May 2011, the UN Security Council held the eleventh open debate on the Protection of Civilians (POC) in Armed Conflict. Over forty Member States spoke during the proceedings, with thirteen states making direct references to RtoP. States, such as Uruguay, noted the “intrinsic overlap” between RtoP and POC but emphasized the importance of remaining “clear in our references to these concepts and that we take into account the singular nature of each one.” The statement of the Netherlands highlighted the need “to enhance our collective understanding of both principles, and how they are related in their implementation.” While Venezuela declared that RtoP is being manipulated by powerful countries to impose their interests, Australia emphasized that recent debates following Security Council Resolutions on Libya and Côte d’Ivoire have illustrated the importance of RtoP and “the seriousness with which governments must take their responsibilities.”
 
Numerous Member States emphasized the importance of ensuring that Security Council-mandated action to protect civilians fully respect the UN Charter, including state integrity and sovereignty. Several speakers also expressed the importance of justice and accountability, noting the importance of the International Criminal Court, and voiced their concern over the human rights violations in Syria and Libya. 
 
Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos condemned the attacks on civilians by government forces in Libya and Syria. She called for a ceasefire in Misrata to allow humanitarian access, and expressed alarm over the reported deployment of tanks in residential areas of Syria. Assistant Secretary-General of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ivan Šimonović, highlighted the importance of accountability for human rights violations in Libya, Syria, and Sri Lanka; while Alain Le Roy, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations (PKO), spoke on the importance of civilian protection as the UN plans its role in the soon to be independent state of South Sudan.
 
See all excerpts on RtoP from the debate.
Click here to view the UN News Centre’s article on the debate.
 
 
The crisis in Libya remains dire as over 2 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. The UN reported on 18 May that 500,000 have fled Libya, and over 460,000 civilians have been internally displaced. The International Committee for the Red Cross reported on 17 May that humanitarian access to the city of Misrata remains cut off and civilians were unable to receive aid and medical services. Following an investigation by the International Criminal Court, the Prosecutor issued arrest warrants against Muammar Abu Minya Gaddafi, his son Saif Al Islam Gaddafi and the Head of the Intelligence Abdullah Al Sanousi from crimes against humanity committed in Libya in the first two weeks of February 2011. Evidence from the investigation conducted by the ICC shows that “civilians were attacked in their homes; demonstrations were repressed using live ammunition, heavy artillery was used against participants in funeral processions, and snipers placed to kill those leaving the mosques after the prayers.” Furthermore, the evidence shows that Gaddafi is continuing to persecute civilians in areas under his control. 
 
As the conflict rages on, debate continues regarding the implementation of Resolution 1973, specifically regarding whether NATO actions go beyond the UN mandate, and what implications the response to the Libyan conflict will have on RtoP.
 
1. Libya: Achieving a Ceasefire, Moving toward Legitimate Government
International Crisis Group
13 May 2011
 
(…) The longer Libya’s military conflict persists, the more it risks jeopardising or undermining the anti-Qaddafi camp’s avowed objectives. Civilians are figuring in large numbers as victims, both as casualties and refugees. The country is de facto being partitioned, as divisions between the predominantly opposition-held east and the predominantly regime-controlled west harden into distinct political, social and economic worlds.
 
As a result, it is virtually impossible for the pro-democracy current of urban public opinion in most of western Libya (and Tripoli in particular) to express itself and weigh in the political balance. All this, together with mounting bitterness on both sides, will constitute a heavy legacy for any post-Qaddafi government.
 
The prolonged military campaign and attendant instability likewise present strategic threats to Libya’s neighbours. Besides fuelling a large-scale refugee crisis, they are raising the risk of infiltration by al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, whose networks of activists are present in Algeria, Mali and Niger. To insist on Qaddafi’s departure as a precondition for any political initiative is to prolong the military conflict and deepen the crisis. Instead, the priority should be to secure an immediate ceasefire and negotiations on a transition to a post-Qaddafi political order.
 
Unlike events in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt, the confrontation that began in mid-February between the popular protest movement and Qaddafi’s regime morphed into a civil war from a very early stage. (…)
 
(…)The character of the Libyan crisis today arises from the complex but so far evidently indecisive impact of the UN-authorised military intervention, now formally led by NATO, in what had already become a civil war. NATO's intervention has saved the anti-Qaddafi side from immediate defeat but has not yet resolved the conflict in its favour. Given its mounting political and human costs, complacent assessments that simply sustaining the present military campaign or increasing pressure will force Qaddafi out soon enough reflect a refusal to reconsider current strategy and envisage alternatives.
 
In any event, it would be reckless to ignore the possibility that, should the regime suffer swift military defeat, the outcome might be not a transition to democracy but rather a potentially prolonged vacuum that could have grave political and security implications for Libya’s neighbours as well as aggravate an already serious humanitarian crisis. (…)
 
(…) If some way cannot be found to induce the two sides in the armed conflict to negotiate a compromise allowing for an orderly transition to a post-Qaddafi, post-Jamahiriya state, the prospect for Libya but also North Africa as a whole and the Sahel countries (Chad, Mali and Niger) will be ominous.
 
A political breakthrough is by far the best way out of the costly situation created by the military stalemate. This will require a ceasefire and unfettered humanitarian access to all areas within the country, implementation of which should be monitored by a UN-mandated international peacekeeping force. It must be accompanied by immediate, serious negotiations between regime and opposition representatives to secure agreement on a peaceful transition to a new, more legitimate political order.
 
Such an outcome also necessitates involvement by a third party trusted by both sides -- actors currently in short supply. A joint political proposal by the Arab League and the African Union --the former viewed more favourably by the opposition, the latter preferred by the regime -- is one possibility to lead to such an agreement. But this cannot happen without the leadership of the revolt and NATO rethinking their current stance.
 
Their repeatedly proclaimed demand that “Qaddafi must go” confuses two quite different objectives. To insist that he can have no role in the post-Jamahiriya political order is one thing, and almost certainly reflects the opinion of a majority of Libyans as well as of the outside world. But to insist that he must go as the precondition for any negotiation, including that of a ceasefire, is to render a ceasefire all but impossible and maximise the prospect of continued armed conflict.
 
To insist that he both leave the country and face trial in the International Criminal Court is virtually to ensure that he will stay in Libya to the bitter end and go down fighting. Ultimately, only an immediate ceasefire is consistent with the purpose originally claimed for NATO's intervention, that of protecting civilians. (…)
 
(…) The international community’s responsibility for the course events will take is very great. Instead of stubbornly maintaining the present policy and running the risk that the aftermath will be one of dangerous chaos, it should act now to secure a negotiated end to the civil war and facilitate a new beginning for Libya’s political life. (…)
 
 
2. The Responsibility to Protect: The Lessons of Libya
The Economist
19 May 2011
 
(…) For those who back muscular humanitarian intervention, both the words and deeds of Colonel Muammar Qaddafi provided absolute moral clarity. “Come out of your homes, attack [the opposition] in their dens,” he told his supporters on February 22nd. He called the protesters “cockroaches” and “rats” who did not deserve to live: language chillingly reminiscent of the broadcasts of Radio Mille Collines, which spurred on the perpetrators of Rwanda’s genocide in 1994.
 
As he spoke, his forces had set their sights on Benghazi, their adversaries’ stronghold. According to Human Rights Watch, a New York-based group, government forces had already killed 233 people in the preceding week. A bloodbath beckoned, in a city of 700,000 people. The United Nations Security Council invoked a fateful formula, urging the regime to meet its “responsibility to protect” its people. On March 17th the council, “expressing its determination to ensure the protection of civilians”, ordered air strikes.
 
That set the stage for the first full-blown test of a principle that the UN adopted in 2005 and has been refining since. The doctrine of “responsibility to protect” (R2P) holds that when a sovereign state fails to prevent atrocities, foreign governments may intervene to stop them. Human-rights advocates say it saves lives. Sceptics see it as too easily misused to be useful: a cover for imperialism, or even an incentive to kill (because even if a massacre is not looming, an unscrupulous warlord might be tempted to engineer one against his own people to spur outside support). (…)
 
(…) At first it looked likely that the doctrine would either triumph or die in Libya. But two months and thousands of air strikes later, war’s messy reality has merely hardened views on both sides. On one hand, the decision to go to war was made in good faith at a time when the risk of massacres seemed real. As Mats Berdal, a professor at King’s College London, points out, the world’s leading powers had good reason to think they were “avoiding a Srebrenica”—the massacre of Bosnians which UN forces failed to avert in July 1995.
But as the war drags on and NATO strikes more widely, sceptics also feel their case has been bolstered. “For those of us who feared that R2P was just a warrant for war, our fears have been vindicated,” says David Rieff, an advocate-turned-critic. (…)
 
(…) The immediate goal of protecting Benghazi from massacre was achieved within days. Having destroyed Libya’s air defences, Western bombers and missiles pummelled the advancing troops into a speedy retreat.
 
Harder decisions followed. Libya’s army continued to shell other rebel-held cities, and its snipers were plainly targeting civilians. Protecting all Libyans, not just those in the east, would require the end of Colonel Qaddafi’s rule—an outcome that both Western and Arab governments had already called for.
 
NATO stepped up its military campaign, bombing retreating columns as well as advancing ones, and attacking command-and-control centres frequented by Colonel Qaddafi and his family. On April 30th an air strike killed one of his sons. The line between curbing atrocities and an air war for regime change blurred—though a land operation is ruled out, for the moment. (…)
 
(…) Both sides of the debate will eagerly cite Libya the next time mass murder seems imminent. It shows that a modest dose of air power can save lives; but also that the rhetoric of civilian protection can be stretched to justify a creeping mission. Power politics decides which lives get saved, and which policy aims triumph.
 
Mr Rieff decries a “two-tiered system of interveners and intervened upon”, where the “old imperial powers” make the rules. But which powers exactly? The Libyan vote passed only because non-Western Russia and China withheld their Security Council vetoes: all but unimaginable until recently. Both countries are now getting cold feet, claiming misuse of the resolution’s elastic language. For different reasons Mr Evans bemoans excess zeal too: he wants to preserve the purity of R2P, and fears an interpretation that allows for “all-out aggressive war”. A lot rides on this war—and not just for the Libyans. (…)
 
 
3. West has Taken Sides in Libyan Civil War – Says Annan
AllAfrica.com
18 May 2011
 
During the course of two extensive interviews recently, Annan told Alec Russell of London's Financial Times that calls by presidents Barack Obama of the United States and Nicolas Sarkozy of France that "Gaddafi must go" were "not very helpful." He advocated a political solution to the Libyan crisis, saying that although "a future Libya without Gaddafi" should be part of negotiations, events were currently headed for a "messy" stalemate, with military victory an unlikely prospect.
 
During the interviews, which lasted over a period of five hours, Annan also discussed Kenya, the "Arab Spring," peacekeeping in the Democratic Republic of Congo, his role during the Rwandan genocide, the need for young African men and women to go into politics and his current passion for promoting agriculture in Africa. The following excerpts from the interviews are published by permission of the Financial Times. The full text of the interview, in which Annan also discusses issues including the Iraq war and the Bush administration, Bosnia, his legacy, and the future of and reforms to the United Nations, can be found here.
 
(…) AR: What about the bigger issue of the intervention? There are all sorts of historical parallels one can come up with. One analogy is, of course, 1991 after Iraqis had been pushed out of Kuwait and then the world's policymakers decided not to intervene to stop Saddam putting down the Shiite uprising. Should the policymakers have done the same thing, should they have hardened their hearts this time?
 
KA: I think the world has moved on. You're right to start with 1991 but one would also need to look at Srebrenica and Rwanda and the repetition of the phrase "never again," or "we will defend the helpless". And there was a situation where Gaddafi himself, he brought it on himself with some of the statements he was making about being "merciless" and "blood will flow" and all that. When a leader makes that sort of statement and you see him approaching populated areas with tanks and military gear and equipment, an international community that had been talking tough and talking of a no-fly zone and rushing to establish a no-fly zone would have had a lot to answer for if they had not intervened to protect the population.
 
The question is where you draw the line. Was every action taken by the coalition designed to protect helpless civilians or, in some cases, to support the weak, rebellious army? And how far do you go? And does it fit with the [UN] Security Council resolution and the mandate? And we should remember that it wasn't a unanimous decision and some pretty important countries abstained. So you start with a divided Council, which makes it even more important that those in action respect the mandate otherwise the divisions widen. And the Council can get paralysed on future decisions on Libya.
 
AR: Is there implicit hypocrisy that there is intervention in Libya but not Ivory Coast where an awful conflict is raging?
 
KA: Yes. The timing of this [Libyan] initiative is very difficult and awkward. Even before you go to Ivory Coast, questions are going to be put as to whether, if there were to be a similar situation where civilians are at risk in some of the other countries, whether Syria or Yemen, what should the international community do? Should they consider going in? And then, of course, you have Ivory Coast where you have, in a way, international presence already on the ground, you have UN forces on the ground. They don't have the adequate numbers to do what they probably would like to do.
 
AR: You seemed to imply, from your earlier remarks, though, that you were in favour of the Libyan intervention.
 
KA: I'm in favour of the efforts that were made to protect the people. You see, the problem, the argument the Libyan intervention will lead to, is they quoted the "responsibility to protect" but it's a graduation. You sort of go through a whole series of events and as a last resort you use force; political pressure, sanctions and others.
 
Of course, one could claim that we were beyond that, that the way events were moving so fast, you couldn't influence a situation by applying political or diplomatic pressure, imposing sanctions, and that more effective measures had to be used, and this is the argument that has been made.
 
And I think the whole world saw that time was on the move with the people in Benghazi and they felt that action was taken to stop the tanks before they got to Benghazi and did lots of damage. I'm sure everyone will support that, or most people will support it. I can say most people will support that.
 
AR: Are you still being contacted from Tripoli and urged to get involved?
 
(…) And, as I suspected, the rebels will not be ready to talk to Gaddafi. They want Nato to help remove him, and of course, I think eventually probably he will have to go, but you cannot put it upfront the way people are saying: Gaddafi must go. A future Libya without Gaddafi must be part of the negotiations and handled properly. It should be part of the agenda, and this mantra of Sarkozy, Cameron, Gaddafi is one… Obama saying Gaddafi must go. Putting it upfront like that… it's not very helpful.
 
But, on the other hand, I see their problem. If, at the end of the day, he stays… how do you explain to the population – both the Libyan and the western populations – that you went through all of this and you leave them with Gaddafi? But on the other hand, I think they were right, as I have said, to get rid of the air defence systems. Most people forget that even in Iraq, by the time the air and no-fly zone was established, the air defence system had been removed through the first Gulf war. All of them had been neutralised.
 
They were right to stop the guns and the tanks from getting to Benghazi. The problem they have now is the sense that they've crossed a line and are now part of the civil war and fighting on one side of the civil war.
 
But here, I will tell you… you will find this interesting, because I said this to Samantha Powers [the academic and liberal interventionist in the White House] and she said: "How can one say a civil war? One side is so weak. The other side is so powerful." I just listened. I kept saying, but who told you in civil war, the sides have to be evenly matched? It never starts like that. But it is a civil war, and they are now perceived as having been sucked in, and where does it stop? How far… how much deeper do you get in? And if it drags on, how patient will the population be and the parliaments be? This is a problem. (…)
 
 
 
1. ICC Prosecutor applies to investigate Ivory Coast violence
Reuters
20 May 2011
 
(…) The International Criminal Court said on Friday its prosecutor had applied to investigate Ivory Coast's post-election violence in which thousands of people have been killed and more than a million displaced. (…)
 
(…) A formal investigation by the ICC is likely to focus on reports of violations by Gbagbo's side as he struggled to retain power, but could also open Ouattara's camp -- including former rebel leader Guillaume Soro, the current prime minister -- to scrutiny.
 
Human rights groups have accused Gbagbo's fighters of using heavy weapons against civilians, but have also accused Ouattara's forces of killing, raping and looting during their southward sweep from their northern stronghold to the coast. (…)
 
(…) Ouattara wrote to ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo this month asking for ICC to investigate reported abuses.
 
The ICC said on Friday in a statement that "after a preliminary examination, the ICC Prosecutor concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that crimes within the jurisdiction of the court have been committed in (Ivory Coast) since 28 November 2010."
 
While Ivory Coast is not one of the member countries covered by ICC, it has accepted the jurisdiction of the war crimes court. (…)
 
 
2. UNAMID moves to probe reports of airstrikes in north Darfur village
Sudan Tribune
18 May 2011
 
(…) Darfur peacekeepers have set out to investigate reports of an airstrike carried out by government forces on a village in the north of Sudan’s western region.
 
In its daily media brief on Wednesday, the UN-AU Hybrid Peacekeeping Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) said that its units based in Kuma, located approximately 100 kilometers northeast of North Darfur State’s provincial capital El-Fasher, are currently en route to the nearby village of Sukamir in order to verify reports of an airstrike conducted by government forces on the village.
 
The peacekeepers will aim to gather information on possible casualties and newly displaced persons, the media release pointed out.
 
Sudanese army’s air forces were accused on Monday of conducting two airstrikes in South Darfur State and causing casualties.
 
According to the Darfur Lawyers Association, warplanes bombarded Labado and Esheraya, located 30km south of El Daein, in South Darfur.
 
The group further said that 11 civilians were killed and seven others wounded during the bombing in Esheraya in South Darfur. (…)
 
(…) "African Union - United Nations Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) Joint Special Representative (JSR) Ibrahim Gambari is deeply concerned over recent air strikes in South Darfur," said a press release put out by the hybrid operation.
 
Gambari was quoted by the statement as calling on the "parties" in Darfur to "exercise the utmost restraint in the use of lethal force." (…)
 
 
3. UN demands halt to fighting and immediate troop withdrawal from Abyei
UN News
22 May 2011
 
(…) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the continuing escalation of violence in Sudan's disputed area of Abyei, as the Security Council called on the Khartoum-based Government to immediately halt all military operations and withdraw its troops from the territory.
 
The Security Council said the taking over of Abyei by Government of Sudan troops constituted a serious violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in 2005 to end two decades of civil war between the north and the south.
 
The Council said the seizure of Abyei “threatens to undermine the mutual commitment of the parties to avoid a return of to war and resolve all remaining CPA and post-CPA issues peacefully.”
 
“The members of the Security Council call upon the Government of Sudan to halt its military operations and withdraw immediately from Abyei town and its environs,” the Council said in a press statement.
 
The Secretary-General said he “remains deeply concerned for the safety of the civilian population of the area, the vast majority of whom has been forcibly displaced due to the fighting,” said a statement issued by the his spokesperson.
 
Mr. Ban deplored the actions of those responsible for the shelling of the United Nations compound, an assault that wounded two peacekeepers, and demanded that the perpetrators be held accountable for the attack.
 
The Council deplored the unilateral decision by the Government in Khartoum to dissolve the Abyei administration and called for its immediate reestablishment by mutual agreement. (…)
 
(…) Mr. Ban appealed to both sides in the conflict to ensure the safety and security of UN personnel and reiterated his call for an investigation into the attacks on UN troops in Goli on 10 May and the raid on a UN-escorted convoy on Thursday to bring the perpetrators to justice.
 
“Members of the Council underscore the responsibility of the parties to protect civilians. They further underscore the need for the parties to respect the mandate of UNMIS [UN Mission in Sudan],” they said, condemning the shelling of the UNMIS compound in Abyei. They noted that UNMIS remains ready to continue facilitating the Kadugli Agreement on deescalating tensions in Abyei.
 
The Secretary-General also called on both parties to immediately cease their military operations, withdraw all forces and armed elements from Abyei and desist from further acts of hostilities. (…)
 
(…) The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that most civilians had fled Abyei town, with the majority of those displaced, mainly women and children, thought to have taken refuge in villages south of Abyei town. All non-governmental organisations' personnel in Abyei relocated yesterday to Agok, 40 kilometres south of Abyei town. (…)
 
 
4. Syria: Targeted Arrests of Activists Across Country
Human Rights Watch
15 May 2011
 
(…) Syria's security forces continue their nationwide campaign of arbitrary arrests and intimidation against political and human rights activists, holding them incommunicado, forcing them to sign undertakings to stop protesting, and in some cases torturing them, Human Rights Watch said today.  

"Syria's leaders talk about a war against terrorists, but what we see on the ground is a war against ordinary Syrians - lawyers, human rights activists, and university students - who are calling for democratic changes in their country," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "Syria's emergency law may have been lifted on paper, but repression is still the rule on Syria's streets." 

Human Rights Watch urged Syria's authorities to immediately reveal the whereabouts of the targeted activists, to ensure that no harm is done to them in detention, and to release all those held for exercising their basic rights to free expression and association. 

In some cases, the security forces have resorted to detaining relatives and neighbors of the government critics, in an effort to obtain information on their whereabouts or force them to stop their activism, prompting many activists to send their families into hiding. (…)
 
(…) Human Rights Watch has called for sanctions against Syrian officials who bear responsibility for the use of lethal force against peaceful protesters and the arbitrary detention and torture of hundreds of protesters and for an international investigation into the grave human rights violations in Syria. (…)
 
 
 
1. They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children
Lt. General (Ret.) Roméo Dallaire
Tuesday May 24, 2011 7m-9pm
 
Fordham University, Lowenstein Building, 12th Floor Lounge
113 West 60th St., New York, NY (at Columbus Ave.)
 
Roméo Dallaire was the Force Commander of the U.N. Mission for Rwanda during the 1994 genocide and urgently requested support from the U.N. that, if heeded, could have halted the genocide. Now a Senator in the Canadian Parliament, Dallaire founded a project called the Child Soldiers Initiative and its youth advocacy campaign – Zero Force – which works to end the use of child soldiers.

General Dallaire will discuss child soldiers, including during his time in Rwanda, and will offer solutions to eradicate their use. His new book on child soldiers will be available. 

Ishmael Beah, a former child soldier and author of A Long Way Gone, will introduce Dallaire. 
 
See flyer.
 
2. Call for Papers: “Humanitarianism and Responsibility”
A Special Issue of the Journal of Human Rights
Deadline: 1 September 2011
 
To address these issue, we currently seek essays focusing on three specific sub-themes within the broader topics of humanitarianism and responsibility. The first is the ongoing effort to rethink humanitarian intervention through the “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P) doctrine. R2P is perhaps the most prominent and controversial embodiment of this new emphasis on humanitarian responsibility.  First developed in 2001 by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, R2P was partially adopted as “official” United Nations policy at the World Summit in 2005. Designed to address some of the thorny issues raised by the rise of humanitarian military interventions in the post-Cold War era, including the international actions in Somalia (1992), Haiti (1994), and Kosovo (1999), as well as the failure to act to prevent the Rwandan genocide (1994), R2P recasts state sovereignty as a responsibility rather than a right and, more importantly, defines the obligations of the international community to protect civilians.  The political struggle over the scope, significance, and institutionalization of R2P—more visible then ever in the wake of the NATO intervention in Libya—reveals the possibilities and limitations of this particular iteration of humanitarian responsibility. We invite submissions of essays that address these possibilities and limitations in theory and in through specific case studies.

Many of the same developments that motivated the formulation of R2P have also provoked heightened self-scrutiny and a new degree of contention among non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and activists, as well as their academic observers, over the nature of humanitarian action more broadly.  In discussions held by aid workers, scholars, and officials, the language of responsibility has become a ubiquitous discourse through which competing conceptions of the humanitarian project are framed.  In the second section of this special issue we will analyze the ways in which humanitarian NGOs have elaborated and practiced their responsibilities.  Here, we invite contributions that will, in particular, help to clarify the much-noted tension between those such as David Rieff who insist that “responsible” humanitarianism is limited to the provision of immediate aid to populations in eminent danger of death or injury, and those such as Thomas Weiss who have called on humanitarian actors to take responsibility for assisting broad political programs designed to “halt violence and ensure respect for human rights.” What are the stakes of taking one or the other of these positions? Is there a way to see beyond the seeming opposition between them?

Finally, we will examine how advocacy campaigns and relief projects that fall outside of the more established arenas of the UN and major international NGOs construct and disseminate particular conceptions of global responsibility. Along with the news media, such campaigns, including the Product (RED) campaign, the micro-finance organization Kiva, and Starbucks’ advocacy for Ishmael Beah’s popular memoir A Long Way Gone, serve as cultural arbiters of a dynamic “ethos of humanitarianism” broadly disseminated among a privileged transnational public sphere. For this last section, we invite essays that explore these and other campaigns and cultural texts aimed at producing senses of transnational or global responsibility. Beyond assessing the impact of this diffuse advocacy work, such essays might unpack the dynamics and the ethical dimensions of the way such campaigns configure chains of responsibility and causality between “victims” of humanitarian crises and individuals in a position to respond, whether this be through  what Lisa Ann Richey and Stefano Ponte call “compassionate consumption,” political activism, or more traditional forms of charity.

Submissions for this special issue (6,000 to 8,000 words, inclusive of notes and bibliography) be sent to both editors no later than September 1, 2011. All submissions should be original, unpublished work and will be subject to peer review. Editorial decisions will be announced by November 1, 2011 and final drafts will be due December 15, 2011. The special issue is scheduled to appear in December 2012. The editors are happy to discuss potential contributions in advance of a formal submission, as well as to answer other queries. They can be contacted via email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  and  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information, please follow this link: http://www.jhr.uconn.edu/papers.htm
 
 

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