CfP: Humanitarianism and the Remaking of International Law: History, Ideology, Practice, Technology

Cross-posted from: http://www.lpil.org/events/humanitarianism

Conference
Thu, May 31, 2018, 9:00am –
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 5:00pm

Danang. Réfugiés s’étant organisés dans la cour de l’école. Photographer: Michel Schroeder, ICRC Archive

Call for Papers: Deadline 1 September 2017

The language and logic of humanitarianism occupy an increasingly central place in international law. Humanitarian reason has shaped the ideology, practice, and technologies of international law over the past century, including through the redescription of the laws of war as international humanitarian law, the framing of mass displacement and armed conflict as ‘humanitarian’ crises, the use of humanitarian justifications for intervention, occupation, and detention, and the representation of international law as an expression of the conscience of humanity.

For some, this trend is clearly positive – international law is reimagined as humanity’s law, humanity as the alpha and omega of international law. Yet critics have pointed to the dark side of these developments and of the humanitarian logic operating within international law, arguing that consolidation of the laws of war has served the interests of powerful groups and states at key moments of potential challenge to existing systems of rule, humanitarianism has been taken up as a language to rationalise the violence of certain forms of occupation, intervention, and warfare, international humanitarian law has displaced other more constraining forms of law as the world becomes imagined as a global battlefield, humanitarian NGOs have served as a fifth column that has enabled particular forms of social transformation and constrained others, and a supposedly impartial humanitarianism has displaced politics.

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Research fellowships for international postdocs

The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards

Research fellowships for international postdocs

for a research stay in Mainz beginning in April 2018 or later.

Deadline: October 1, 2017.

Applicant profile

The IEG awards fellowships for international young researchers in history, theology and other historical subjects. The IEG promotes research on the historical foundations of Europe from the early modern period to 1989/90, particularly regarding their religious, political and social dimensions. Projects dealing with European communication and transfer processes as well as projects focusing on questions related to theology, church history and intellectual history are particularly welcome.

What we offer

Funding is € 1,800/month. Research fellows live and work for between 6 and 12 months at the Institute in Mainz and can pursue their individual research project (extension possible).

Aims

This fellowship is intended to help you develop your own research project in close collaboration with scholars working at the IEG. Your contribution consist in bringing your own interests to bear on the work of the IEG and its research programme »negotiating difference in Europe«. This includes the possibility of developing a perspective for further cooperation with the IEG. If for this purpose a promising application for third-party funding is submitted, an extension of the fellowship is possible.

Requirements

  • Applicants must have completed their doctorate no more than three years before taking up the fellowship.
  • Fellows are required to register officially as residents in Mainz and to take part in events at the Institute.
  • Fellows are not permitted to undertake paid work while receiving the IEG fellowship.
  • The linguae academicae at the IEG are German and English; fellows must have a passive command of both and an active command of at least one of the two languages so as to participate in the discussions at the Institute.

Please send your application via e-mail to: fellowship@ieg-mainz.de
Subject: Stipendienbewerbung 

For further information on the fellowship programme and application see:

http://www.ieg-mainz.de/en/fellowships/application_details

 

Panel on “Children, Childhood and International Humanitarianism in the Transition between War and Peace”

While the historical role of children and notions of childhood in times of war and crises generally constituted an important theme at the Ninth Biennial Conference of the Society for the History of Childhood and Youth (SHCY), one panel was explicitly dedicated to the study of international humanitarianism and attempts to protect children in the transition between war and peace. The panel was organized by Yukako Otori (Harvard University) and Andrée-Ann Plourde (Laval University) and included presenters that had first met in the framework of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA). The panel, which was chaired by the distinguished historian of international child welfare and author of Raising the World: Child Welfare in the American Century (Harvard University Press, 2015) Sara Fieldston, explored the intersection of international attempts to protect children and the history of humanitarianism on the basis of four case studies.

Opening the panel was historian of Africa Stacey Hynd (Exeter University) who discussed the construction of the “child soldier” in the second half of the twentieth century. Presenting rich examples from the involvement of children in armed conflict from the 1950s (the Mau Mau rebellion) to discussions in the United Nations in the mid-1990s, she, firstly, showed how child soldiering was gradually constructed as an African phenomenon. Secondly, tracing how legal, human rights and humanitarian discourses and norms discursively produced the image of the “child soldier”, Hynd argued that it was precisely the divergence of this image from the actual experiences of children actively involved in war that ultimately limited the effectiveness of humanitarian intervention. The intersection of humanitarian campaigning and international legislative efforts also constituted a major theme in the second presentation by Yukako Otori. Exploring the making of international child labor law in the interwar years, Otori not only traced the emergence of a set of conventions against child labor issued by the International Labor Conference, the highest legislative organ of the International Labor Organization (ILO), but also pointed to the limited effectiveness of these conventions when it came to the ratification and enforcement by the individual member states. Yet, as she pointed out, the legislative efforts of the 1920s nonetheless produced significant shifts in the understanding of child labor, which was marked by a growing sensitivity towards non-industrial labor as well as long-terms negative effects such as for instance interrupted schooling. Continue reading

Guest Lectures of the GHRA 2017

Our third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) has started with one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. On this occasion the GHRA is very pleased to welcome Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel and Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch as two distinguished guest lecturers on Wednesday, July 12, 2017.

In the morning session Dr. Jean-Luc Blondel, the former Head of the ICRC Archives and former special advisor to the previous ICRC president, will speak on ICRC work and policies during the period 1966 to 1975.

In the afternoon session Prof. Madeleine Herren-Oesch, Director of the Institute for European Global Studies at the University of Basel will give the guest lecture “Exchange ships: enemy aliens, repatriation and forced migration during World War II”.

We are all very much looking forward to these two presentations and the following discussion!

 

“On site, in time”: Chios by Fabian Klose

Regarding our new IEG open access publication “On site, in time” here is my article on the island of Chios, in which I focus on the massacre of Chios in 1822 and its impact on international interventionism.

Cross-posted from: http://en.ieg-differences.eu/on-site-in-time/fabian-klose-chios/

The Massacre of Chios in 1822 (constellations)

During the year 1822, European capitals were inundated with reports about a massacre of the Christian population of Chios. The island, a few kilometres from the mainland of Asia Minor in the eastern Aegean, and the supposed birthplace of the ancient poet Homer, had become the scene of one of the bloodiest episodes of the Greek War of Independence. At the time, Greece belonged to the Ottoman Empire. Starting in March 1821, an armed uprising against the rule of the Sultan emerged in different places in Greece. In the reconquest of Chios in April 1822, Ottoman troops operated with extreme brutality. They pillaged and plundered the Greek settlements, murdering in the process an estimated 25,000 residents and abducting more 45,000 to the slave markets of the Ottoman Empire. While the Greek independence movement itself relied on merciless warfare and likewise perpetrated a series of massacres of the Muslim population, the European reporting concentrated almost exclusively on the Ottoman atrocities against the Christian population.

Such messages inspired the French painter Eugène Delacroix to create the historical painting “The Massacre of Chios.”[1] Presented to a wider public for the first time in 1824 during the Parisian salons, it also caused a great sensation beyond the borders of France. The emotionally charged depiction of the Greeks, who had been at the mercy of the Ottoman soldiery, drew on a humanitarian narrative that had already more or less developed in the course of the campaigns against the slave trade. With his visualization of suffering, Delacroix intended to arouse the concern and sympathy of the viewers for the fate of the Greeks and thereby to mobilize political support for the Greek struggle for independence.

Eugène Delacroix, Le Massacre de Scio, oil/canvas, 1824

Europe’s solidarity and the stigmatization of the Ottoman Empire (differences)

The events on Chios provoked (not least thanks to Delacroix’ painting) a sense of outrage throughout Europe and a feeling of solidarity with the Greek striving for freedom virtually throughout the entire continent. The Philhellenism, which originated in the late 18th century from a cultural enthusiasm  for ancient Greece, now took on tremendous political relevance in the wake of the reporting on the massacre. Philhellenic committees – initially in German speaking countries, then in France and Great Britain as well as other European countries – began to form to recruit volunteers to fight in Greece, to collect funds for the insurgents, and, in general, to mobilize public Support. Continue reading

Third GHRA, 10-21 July 2017

 

In about a week the third Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) will meet for one week of academic training at the Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) in Mainz before continuing with archival research at the ICRC Archives in Geneva. The Research Academy addresses early career researchers who are working in the related fields of humanitarianism, international humanitarian law, peace and conflict studies as well as human rights covering the period from the 18th to the 20th century. It supports scholarship on the ideas and practices of humanitarianism in the context of international, imperial and global history thus advancing our understanding of global governance in humanitarian crises of the present.

The GHRA received a huge amount of applications from an extremely talented group of scholars from more than nineteen different countries around the world. The selection committee considered each proposal carefully and has selected these participants for the GHRA 2017:

Luís Paulo Bogliolo is a doctoral candidate with the Laureate Program in International Law at the University of Melbourne (Australia). He holds an LLM in Public International Law from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a BA Law from the University of Brasília. He has been a lecturer at the University of Brasília, Coordinator of Regulation in the Department of Intellectual Rights at the Brazilian Ministry of Culture, and Law Clerk at the High Court of Brazil. His thesis is entitled Bombing Civilians: Aerial Warfare and Distinction in the History of International Law.

Jenny Chapman completed a BA (Hons) in Historical studies and Religious studies with Comparative religion, and an MA in Humanitarianism and Conflict Response at the University of Manchester. She was awarded an ESRC- funded Case Studentship with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester in 2015. Her PhD project investigates the British Medical Humanitarian sector between the years of 1988- 2014 and is co-supervised by HCRI and the Humanitarian Affairs Team in Save the Children UK. Jenny is particularly interested in role that history can play in offering a reflective and analytical insight into the humanitarian System.

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