amnesty international campaign: https://teambrave.org/ger
In about a month the fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) will meet for one week of academic training at the University of Exeter 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 twenty-one different countries around the world. The selection committee considered each proposal carefully and has selected these participants for the GHRA 2018:
Monique Beerli, University of California
Monique J. Beerli is a research associate at the Centre de recherches internationals and a visiting researcher at UC Berkeley. Her current project, Governing the Global Governors, received support from the Swiss National Science Foundation. In 2017, she received a double degree in political science from Sciences Po Paris and the University of Geneva. Her thesis, Saving the Saviors: An International Political Sociology of the Professionalization of Humanitarian Security, examined the genesis of security specialists within the humanitarian field and the effects of this professional transformation. Her work has been published in Global Governance, International Political Sociology, and International Peacekeeping.
Jennifer Carr, University of Glasgow
Jennifer Carr is a second-year doctoral researcher, writing a medical history of refugee camps at the University of Glasgow, where she is also postgraduate co-convenor for the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network (GRAMnet). Her PhD, funded by a Wellcome Trust medical humanities doctoral scholarship, focuses on medical humanitarian action at times of emergency and the shift from crisis to development, with case studies of Sahrawi refugee camps in Algeria and Palestinian camps in Jordan. She has recently completed a residency at the Brocher Foundation in Geneva, and am an associate of emergency assistance charity, UK-Med.
Switzerland is uniquely positioned as host of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Swiss neutrality, Swiss humanitarian policy, and the Swiss flag are often associated with the Red Cross. As a result, a special relationship has developed between the country and the international humanitarian organization. My book, Hilfe schenken. Die Beziehung zwischen dem Internationalen Komitee vom Roten Kreuz und der Schweiz (NZZ Libro 2017), critically explores this relationship during the period between the two World Wars (1919-1939) using sources from the ICRC archives, the Federal Archives of Switzerland, and a wide range of publications and private archives in Switzerland.
At first sight, the interwar years were a calm period for the special relationship. Looking closer, however, exposes how the relationship between the ICRC and Switzerland changed and strengthened during this time, foreshadowing criticisms during Second World War that the axis between Bern and Geneva had become too close to guarantee truly neutral and independent humanitarian aid.Looking at ICRC missions in the field, for example, I found that the ICRC did not collaborate with Switzerland during the interwar years nearly as much as it had done during the First World War. This also held true for the refugee crisis after the First World War, and for several conflicts during the 1930s.
However, Swiss foreign policy started relying more and more on its relationship with the ICRC. It was important for government officials to position Geneva and the ICRC as pillars of its neutrality and humanitarian policy in order to promote Geneva as the headquarters of the League of Nations.
There was also competition about competencies and patronage when it came to developing international humanitarian law. Switzerland showed a great interest and provided resources to the ICRC. Members of the ICRC were in close collaboration with Swiss officials to prepare a convention for the protection of prisoners of war and the revision of the Geneva Convention. In 1929, a conference held in Geneva completed this work and 33 states signed the conventions. The Swiss and the ICRC positions were strengthened in the texts.
The Online Atlas on the History of Humanitarianism and Human Rights is jointly published by the Leibniz Institute of European History and the Centre for Imperial and Global History at the University of Exeter as part of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA). It is hosted by the Leibniz Institute of European History.
The Online Atlas provides readers with concise analytical information on key concepts, events, and people which shaped the development of modern humanitarianism and human rights.
The entries of the Online Atlas are written by the successive generations of fellows of the GHRA and other experts connected to the Research Academy. The entries describe particular historical moment as well as its consequences and wider meanings. Additional materials include a review of scholarly debates, further reading, and visual representations. The Online Atlas addresses a broader public. It is a valuable resource for those engaged in the field of humanitarian action and human rights as well as students and academics. It provides a reliable source of information and access to essential issues of the entangled world of humanitarianism across borders and historical epochs.
The project started in December 2015 with 10 entries written by the first participants of the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy and now reaches the number of 30 enties. Enjoy discovering the Online Atlas @ http://hhr-atlas.ieg-mainz.de/
Table of Contents
Brief book description by Cornell University Press:
“In Brutality in an Age of Human Rights, Brian Drohan demonstrates that British officials’ choices concerning counterinsurgency methods have long been deeply influenced or even redirected by the work of human rights activists. To reveal how that influence was manifested by military policies and practices, Drohan examines three British counterinsurgency campaigns—Cyprus (1955–1959), Aden (1963–1967), and the peak of the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland (1969–1976). This book is enriched by Drohan’s use of a newly available collection of 1.2 million colonial-era files, International Committee of the Red Cross files, the extensive Troubles collection at Linen Hall Library in Belfast, and many other sources.
Drohan argues that when faced with human rights activism, British officials sought to evade, discredit, and deflect public criticism of their actions to avoid drawing attention to brutal counterinsurgency practices such as the use of torture during interrogation. Some of the topics discussed in the book, such as the use of violence against civilians, the desire to uphold human rights values while simultaneously employing brutal methods, and the dynamic of wars waged in the glare of the media, are of critical interest to scholars, lawyers, and government officials dealing with the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those to come in the future.”
(s’)Aider pour survivre. Action humanitaire et neutralité suisse pendant la Première Guerre mondiale / Helping (oneself) to survive. Humanitarian action and Swiss neutrality during the First World War by Cédric Cotter
Neutrality and humanitarian action are two key-concepts of both Swiss identity and foreign policy. Their anchoring as typically Swiss characteristics is the result of a long maturation in which the First World War constitutes a pivotal moment. By mixing political and cultural history, this book aims at analyzing the interactions between neutrality and humanitarian action at three specific levels: the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Switzerland and its domestic policy and identity, Switzerland in a transnational approach. It shows how, during the First World War, charitable works moved from the status of a consequence of neutrality to that of an essential corollary to it.
The first part of the Book is devoted to the ICRC. Chapter 1 highlights the main challenges that the institution faced during the Great War and shows how this conflict is important for the history of humanitarianism on important topics: detention, reestablishment of family links, humanitarian diplomacy, promotion of law, coordination with Red Cross national societies, etc. The ICRC’s response to these challenges is addressed in chapter 2, where the meaning and use of the concept of “neutrality” are studied and put into perspective with the real attitude of the ICRC. Was the ICRC really neutral and impartial? Or did the sympathies of its committee with the Entente influence its policy?
The second part proposes a broader view on Switzerland. Chapter 3 first synthetizes the main actions accomplished by Switzerland during the First World War: initiatives from the Confederation, the Swiss Red Cross and private organizations as well as the interactions between all these humanitarian actors, including the ICRC. This chapter also analyzes the specific relation between the ICRC and the Confederation, with a special focus on Gustave Ador, ICRC president and, as on 1917, member of the Swiss Federal Council. Chapter 4 is one the most important parts of the book as it examines the reasons behind such a huge humanitarian commitment. It proposes to analyze this commitment through the spectrum of a “culture of neutrality” in which humanitarian action would give sense to the Swiss neutrality. Humanitarian commitment was not only motivated by compassion and many factors contributed to this trend: necessity to morally justify the neutrality, aims at mitigating the internal tensions between the various linguistics regions, contribution to the mobilization of minds, diversion from one’s own fear.
The third part integrates Switzerland into a more global framework. While chapter 5 analyzes the utility of humanitarian aid in the Swiss foreign policy, chapter 6 attempts to propose a comparative and transnational history of the interactions between neutrality and humanitarian action at that time. This approach uses evidence from the USA, Denmark, Sweden, Spain or the Netherlands. It tries to show whether Switzerland was a unique case or, on the contrary, typical. Chapter 7 eventually examines the interactions and circulations between these various stakeholders and highlights them with three case studies of humanitarian competition: Switzerland v.s. the Vatican, the ICRC as arbitrator of the Scandinavian competition and, last but not least, the ICRC v.s. the American Red Cross.
Regarding our new IEG open access publication “On site, in time” here is my article on the “Peace Lines” in Belfast
Beginning of “the Troubles” and the erection of the “Peace Lines” (constellations)
Over the course of 1969, domestic tensions in Northern Ireland, which had been growing for decades between the Protestant and Catholic parts of the population, escalated to the point of open violence. In August, various cities experienced several days of civil-war-like unrest. In Belfast, the hostile confessional groups engaged in veritable street battles in which residential districts were attacked and entire streets lined with houses were burned down. Nine people were killed, over 700 civilians and police were injured, and in Belfast alone nearly 400 houses were damaged by arson attacks.
Northern Ireland was an integral part of the United Kingdom. When the situation came to a head, the prime minister of Northern Ireland called on the central government in London for help. In response, British army units were sent to separate the parties to the conflict and bring the situation back under control. After arriving, the British soldiers began to put up barbed wire fences and checkpoints around the neighbourhoods controlled by the battling groups – first at the hot spot between the Catholic Falls Road and the Protestant Shankill Road. The idea was to prevent further attacks between Protestants and Catholics. General Sir Ian Freeland, the British troops’ general officer commanding, called these peace lines a “very, very temporary affair”, underscoring his position thus: “We will not have a Berlin Wall or anything like that in this city”.
Yet over the course of the nearly thirty-year conflict in Northern Ireland, which is often referred to as “the Troubles”, the provisional fences were indeed replaced with permanent barriers: walls of concrete and steel, up to eight meters high and reinforced at the top with fencing, whose various sections ran for a total of 34 kilometres through front yards and residential streets. These so-called “peace lines” or “peace walls” put their stamp on the cityscape of Belfast, as they did in other Northern Irish cities like Derry/Londonderry, Portadown and Lurgan. They became a visible expression of Northern Ireland’s population, divided by civil war.
Conference at the Department of Anthropology and African Studies (ifeas)
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany
22 – 24 February 2018
This conference introduces the notion of care into studies of humanitarianism. Care is a social activity produced by combinations of intimate and institutional practices. All of us need to be cared for, but care requirements are revealed more starkly and are often amplifi ed in moments of acute need or emergency. At the same time, in emergency and disaster situations, quotidian care arrangements can themselves undergo a crisis. Everyday routines may need to be adapted and radically changing conditions can call into question established procedures, or demand alternative modes of action.
Humanitarian intervention reconfigures caring institutions through new ways of knowing and representing suffering that emerge alongside organizational responses; it produces shifts in the organization and practice of care that profoundly reshape the sociality of those involved; and it is implicated in the production of new material environments that restructure the possibilities and limits of caring interventions. Contributors draw on ethnographic fi eldwork to explore the mutual construction of entitlements, responsibilities and governance that shape practices of care in humanitarian contexts, as well as the moral underpinnings, materiality and lived realities of these dynamics.
Programme (download Flyer)
Conference at the Leibniz-Institute of European History, 7 – 9 February 2018
The third conference organised by the Network »Engaging Europe in the Arab World: Missionaries and Humanitarianism in the Middle East 1850s to 1970s« focuses on crises in the Middle East and the relation between humanitarianism, religion, and diplomacy. Participating scholars discuss the period from the Ottoman Empire to the Second World War and its aftermath. The panels analyse humanitarianism and missions in the context of imperial troubles, intervention, the European mandate system and nation-building. A round table with Eva Svoboda , Senior Research Fellow at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), and Jonathan Benthall, Director Emeritus of the Royal Anthropological Institute and Research Fellow at UCL, will conclude the proceedings discussing scholarship and humanitarian practice.
Law and Policy researcher, ICRC
When I was a young student in history and philosophy at the University of Geneva, I had never thought that one day I may work for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Yet it happened. While I was preparing my Master thesis, the protection division at the ICRC was looking for a young historian to carry out a research in their archives. I got hired for a one-year traineeship contract, which was extended by two shorter terms within the relations with arms carriers unit and at the archives division. This experience was a turning point in my career. As a consequence, I decided to write my PhD dissertation on the history of the ICRC, which was part of a research project dedicated to Switzerland during the First World War. I analyzed the interactions between humanitarian action and neutrality at that time.
In July 2015, during my research, I got the chance to participate in the very first Global Humanitarian Research Academy. This academy played a very positive role for me, as it was an occasion to meet other researchers working on the history of humanitarian action. Our various talks and debates made me think about other practices and ways of studying the past of humanitarian organizations. We shared different perspectives, some close and some more distant from mine; however all of them very interesting and challenging. It also gave me the opportunity to question my hypotheses and research results to more advanced scholars. They gave good advices that I then used during the writing process of my dissertation. Meeting others PhD students was useful in terms of networking of course. Beyond that, the excellent atmosphere created during the academy allowed us to maintain amical contacts as well. Still today, I regularly exchange with my fellows. At the end, this experience was really rewarding.
Now, I am Law and Policy researcher for the Law and Policy Forum (obviously…) at the ICRC. One might wonder why a researcher with a background in history carries out research on issues related to International humanitarian law (IHL). My training as a historian helps me a lot in my work for several reasons.
I first use concrete skills developed during my dissertation and at the Global Humanitarianism Research Academy. On a daily basis, I need to find references on specific topics and read plenty of publications. Mountains of data are stored at the ICRC archives and my role is to exploit them by finding facts, evidences, eloquent examples, by synthetizing them and by enhancing our more than 150 years of experience, successes and failures. Being a PhD student is not only an intellectual adventure; it is also a full professional experience. While researching and writing my dissertation, I gained many soft skills too: project management, responsibility, flexibility, creativity, persistence, communication, teamwork ability, etc. Historians sometimes tend to forget that we have these skills sought in the private sector.
The Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG) awards
Research Fellowships for Doctoral Students
for a research stay in Mainz beginning in September 2018.
The IEG awards fellowships for international junior 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 currently € 1,200/month. Research fellows live and work for between 6 and 12 months at the Institute in Mainz pursuing their individual Ph.D. project. Fellows will be assigned a mentor from the IEG’s academic staff.
PhD theses continue to be supervised and are completed under the auspices of the fellows’ home universities. Fellows are required to register officially as residents in Mainz and to reside and take part in events at the Institute. The linguae academicae at the IEG are German and English; fellows should 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.
15 February 2018
For further information on the fellowship program and application see:
Leibniz Institute of European History (IEG)
Fellowship Programme | Barbara Müller, M. A.
Alte Universitaetsstraße 19 | 55116 Mainz – Germany
E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org | Tel. 0049 (0)6131 – 39 39365
Drs Fabian Klose, Johannes Paulmann, and Andrew Thompson are pleased to announce that the Call for Applications for the fourth Global Humanitarianism Research Academy (GHRA) 2018 is now open, with a deadline of 31 December 2017.
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 & Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Geneva
Dates: 9-20 July 2018
Deadline: 31 December 2017
Information at: http://ghra.ieg-mainz.de/, http://hhr.hypotheses.org/ and http://imperialglobalexeter.com/
The international GLOBAL HUMANITARIANISM | RESEARCH ACADEMY (GHRA) offers research training to PhD candidates and early postdocs. It combines academic sessions at the Imperial and Global History Centre at the University of Exeter and the Leibniz Institute of European History in Mainz with archival sessions at the Archives of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva. The Research Academy is for 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.
“Once at the margins, human rights and its history are now at the intellectual vanguard of the historical profession.” (p. 4), Mark Philip Bradley trenchantly observes in the introduction of his new book The World Reimagined: Americans and Human Rights in the Twentieth Century. Indeed, over the last decade the history of human rights has crystalized as a prospering field of research and has been the subject of a lively and indeed hotly contested debate among international historians. A series of pioneering books has focused on the question of the take-off moment, when the language of global human rights gained a central importance in today’s world. In the context of this very stimulating debate one group of historians placed the emphasis on the 1940s as the crucial period, while others see the 1970s as the decisive breakthrough moment when the current meaning of human rights took shape.
In his excellently written monograph Bradley also focusses on these two crucial decades. However, he does so in a rather different way, highlighting the complexity and ruptures of this development. He approaches the 1940s and 1970s as contrapuntal moments in order to present an alternative narrative of the role of the United States in the history of human rights over the course of the twentieth century as well as to offer a new way of writing global human rights history itself. By focusing on the significant interplay between the global and the local in the creation of American human rights vernaculars, the book hugely enriches our today’s understanding of universal human rights.
If you are interested in reading the whole review, you can find it in the recent issue of Diplomatic History.
Cross-posted from <www.hsozkult.de/conferencereport/id/tagungsberichte-7338>
While there is currently a lot of research on the history of Humanitarianism, its relationship with the analytical category of gender still lacks systematic exploration. The international conference “Gender & Humanitarianism: (Dis-)Empowering Women and Men in the Twentieth Century”, which was funded by the Fritz Thyssen Foundation and held at the Leibniz Institute of European History (Mainz), was organized with the aim of filling this gap in research. It explored how gender shaped and was shaped by humanitarian discourses and practices in the period between the First World War and the end of the Cold War. The conference papers discussed this relationship by emphasizing historiographical issues relating to processes of inclusion and exclusion, adopting multiple transnational perspectives. Integrating humanitarian organizations and actors from across the whole globe, the papers presented had multiple geographical focuses on the Middle East, on India, on Western Europe, as well as on Central and South America.
After a brief introduction to the topic by JOHANNES PAULMANN (Mainz), KATHARINA STORNIG (Giessen) and ESTHER MÖLLER (Mainz), the first panel, dealing with masculinities and femininities in humanitarian discourse and practice, started with two papers discussing the roles of women as relief workers in moments of historical crisis. Focusing on the context of the Armenian genocide and the displacements of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, INGER MARIE OKKENHAUG (Volda) inquired into the interaction between Scandinavian female health care professionals of the Danish and Norwegian Women’s Mission Organization, on the one hand, and female Armenian refugees and relief workers, on the other, between 1925 and 1935 in what is today Lebanon and Syria. She highlighted different forms of cooperation involving close connections and interactions between Armenian and Scandinavian women, while especially stressing the role of religion in the encounter between Lutherans and Armenians. Okkenhaug also discussed the relief workers’ perception of their roles as women and their interaction with male refugees or co-workers.
Natalie Klein-Kelly, Fellow of the GHRA 2017
DOT TO DOT: Exploring humanitarian activities in the early Nineteenth Century through tracing prehistories of the Red Cross Movement in Geneva
Histories of humanitarianism often cite two specific examples of nineteenth century humanitarianism: the latter parts of slave abolition movements and the founding of the Red Cross in Geneva in 1863. Besides these, particularly for the early part of the century, specific examples of humanitarian activities remain rare, with general references to philanthropic as well as social and religious reform movements prevailing. I would like to argue here that this is because humanitarian endeavours in the early Nineteenth Century in Europe and North America developed in local contexts, making it difficult and cumbersome to join the various ʿdotsʾ of humanitarian activities that existed. By linking such ʿdotsʾ – like doing children’s ʿdot to dotʾ drawing, hence the title of this blog post – a more precise picture of early humanitarianism might emerge. This blog post will demonstrate the benefits of such an approach though two concrete examples: the connections between the founding of the Red Cross Movement and an early foreign aid movement 40 years earlier, both in the locality of Geneva.
The first ʿgroup of dotsʾ concerns the philhellenic activities undertaken by private Geneva citizens in the course of the 1820s in support of the Greeks in their War of Independence against the Ottoman Empire. To be precise, two different Geneva Greek Committees were set up, the first active in 1822-1823, and a second founded in 1825 and active until the Battle of Navarino in October 1827. The leading force in the latter Committee was the wealthy Geneva citizen, Jean-Gabriel Eynard (1772-1863), who had been to the Vienna Congress a few years earlier. He was joined by 26 others, including the writers and politicians J.C.L. Simonde de Sismondi (1773-1842) and Etienne Dumont (1759-1829). This second Committee used the donations collected in Geneva and elsewhere to send shiploads of food and ammunition to support the fighting Greeks. These shipments were accompanied by representatives of the Committee, including the doctor, Louis-André Gosse (1801-1873). To stress, the label ‘humanitarian’ only partly fits these foreign aid undertakings, particularly given the military support and the parallel developmental focus that can be found.
The second ʿdotsʾ is better known: the 1863 founding of the Red Cross Movement initiated by five Geneva citizens including Henri Dunant (1828-1910), Gustav Moynier (1826-1910), General Guillaume-Henri Dufour (1787-1875), and Dr Louis Appia (1818-1889). Having witnessed the suffering of wounded soldiers in the battle of Solferino in 1859, the Geneva businessman Dunant published a pamphlet calling for international action to ensure care and protection of wounded soldiers and their helpers. The young Geneva lawyer Moynier, an acquaintance of Dunant, took this idea to the Geneva Society for Public Utility, whose president at this time was Dufour. Here, a sub-committee to implement Dunant’s ideas was formed, leading to the first international conference held in Geneva in 1863.
While nearly 40 years apart, these two ʿgroups of dotsʾ have specific links. An early type of photograph exists of the two key protagonists, Eynard and Dunant, dating from the early 1850s.
Eynard was an early enthusiast of daguerreotypes, taking a few hundred in the 1840s and 1850s, generally of his extended family. Dunant was a friend of Ernest de Traz (1830-1900), also on this daguerreotype, a great-nephew of Eynard. De Traz and Dunant commenced religious meetings of young men in the late 1840s, leading to the formation of the “Union Chrétienne des Jeunes Gens de Geneva” in the early 1850s. In addition, occasional correspondence between Dunant and Eynard’s wife, Anna Eynard Lullin (1793-1868) has survived, for example regarding her support for the 1863 Red Cross conference (BPU Ms 2109 f. 57, 179). Eynard’s son-in-law and nephew, Charles Eynard-Eynard (1808-1876) also corresponded with Dunant throughout the 1860s (ibid., f. 6, 288, 296 etc.). Charles Eynard appears to have been close to Dunant through their joint religious affiliation to the ‘Reveil’, the Geneva evangelist movement of the mid-century (BPU Ms fr 2115 H).