This article shows how emergency humanitarian food relief efforts fitted into the gradual establishment of French imperial occupation in Syria-Lebanon between 1915 and 1925. It argues that we should grasp the years from 1915–1925 as a unit – a distinctively transformative “occupation decade” in the Middle East, as the Ottoman Empire was replaced by the League of Nations Mandate system. It contributes thereby to current debates on the scope and chronology of the First World War. It also engages with a central question in the historiography of modern humanitarianism – the idea of emergency relief and socio-economic development as “dual modes” of humanitarianism, and concludes that state and non-state humanitarian relief are not easily separated.
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Our new issue features a conversation between Jasbir K. Puar and Oishik Sircar, available open-access on the Humanity journal website. The issue also includes essays on the politics humanitarian architecture and the Parisian “Yellow Bubble,” family planning projects in postcolonial Morocco, how Amnesty International's formative years shaped professional human rights activism, and the linguistic and affective labor of field interpreters for UN missions. It contains review essays on theories of political violence and on global histories of slavery and indentured labor.View entire issue >
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Interview with Lori Allen (SOAS) on her recent book A History of False Hope: Investigative Commissions in Palestine (Stanford University Press, 2020). The interview was conducted via email by Tobias Kelly, member of the Humanity editorial collective. Tobias Kelly (TK): Can you tell us how you came to this project and how it relates to your previous work? Lori Allen (LA): I see this book as being a prequel to my first book, The Rise and Fall of Human Rights: Cynicism and Politics in Occupied Palestine Continue reading →
This essay is part of a symposium on Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini’s Human Shields. All contributions to the symposium can be found here. Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini’s Human Shields is arranged as a composition of twenty two tableaux. Each vividly explores distinctive practices of human shielding by excavating diverse types of archival sources—official documents, personal correspondence, memoirs, news media, scholarly works, novels, videogames, and more. The succession of these tableaux occurs mostly in chronological order beginning with the American Civil War, and its Continue reading →