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A portrait of Hirschman by the Colombian photographer Hernán Díaz, taken in Bogotá as Hirschman was working on Journeys toward Progress: Studies of Economic Policy-Making in Latin America (1963).

A portrait of Hirschman by the Colombian photographer Hernán Díaz, taken in Bogotá as Hirschman was working on Journeys toward Progress: Studies of Economic Policy-Making in Latin America (1963).

Albert Hirschman and the Social Sciences: A Memorial Roundtable

Introduction Michele Alacevich Albert O. Hirschman died on December 10, 2012, after a long, eventful, and at times truly adventurous life. Born in 1915 Berlin as Otto Albert Hirschmann, he belonged to the last generation of upper-crust, assimilated Jews in democratic interwar Germany. As a young social democrat, he observed with increasing concern the polarization of the political life in postwar Germany before the collapse of the Weimar Republic. When Adolf Hitler seized power in 1933, seventeen-year-old Hirschman went to Paris and did not return Read More »


Call For Papers: Human Rights Working Paper Series

The Human Rights Working Paper Series (WPS) is dedicated to interdisciplinary and critical dialogue on international human rights law and discourse. It publishes innovative papers of the highest quality by established and early-career researchers and practitioners, from the University of Texas and other institutions around the world. The WPS provides authors with an opportunity to receive feedback on works in progress. It also seeks to provide a lively, productive environment for debate about human rights among academics, policymakers, practitioners, and the wider public. To this Read More »


International Research Academy on the History of Global Humanitarianism Academy Leaders: Fabian Klose (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz) Johannes Paulmann (Leibniz Institute of European History Mainz) Andrew Thompson (University of Exeter) in co-operation with the International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva) and with support by the German Historical Institute London Venues: University of Exeter, UK & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva Dates: July 10-22, 2016 Deadline: December 31, 2015 Information at: http://hhr.hypotheses.org/ and http://imperialglobalexeter.com/ The international GLOBAL HUMANITARIANISM | RESEARCH Read More »

Europe’s Embarrassment

The European Agenda on Migration, published May 13 and implemented throughout the past summer, is a fascinating initiative. The policy has four stated “pillars”: (1) reducing incentives for unauthorized or “irregular” migration; (2) border management — which is understood as both border enforcement and saving the lives of migrants at risk; (3) a “strong common asylum policy” and (4) providing new avenues for legal migration. This agenda presents the EU’s most comprehensive attempt to address a surging number of asylum seekers and migrants now seeking Read More »

Between the Sea and the Problem of Humanity:  The Mediterranean’s Refugees and the Humanitarian Reason of Rescue at Sea

Rescues at sea are dangerous and come with great possible cost to those involved.  In this brief essay, I consider why, beyond a simple explanation of the imperative to protect life, civilian sailors rescue refugees at sea, and explore how specific extreme environments and professional identities may interface at the boundaries of humanitarian imagination, thought and action Before MSF and the navies of EU states became more involved in intercepting boatloads of refugees sinking into the Mediterranean, the job of pulling them out of the Read More »

Birth from Death

There is this great anecdote that Gershom Scholem tells at the end of his monumental Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism. It speaks of the Baal Shem Tov, the eighteenth-century founder of Hasidism, who, when he had “a difficult task before him . . ., would go to a certain place in the woods, light a fire and meditate in prayer — and what he had set out to perform was done.” The tale follows the slow, generational loss of the elements that ensure successful results Read More »

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