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This book explores the fluctuating relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. For most of their lives, human rights and humanitarianism have been distant cousins. Humanitarianism focused on situations in faraway places dealing with large-scale loss of life that demanded urgent attention whilst human rights advanced the cause of individual liberty and equality at home. However, the twentieth century saw the two coming much more directly into dialogue, particularly following the end of the Cold War, as both began working in war zones and post-conflict situations. Leading scholars probe how the shifting meanings of human rights and humanitarianism converge and diverge from a variety of disciplinary perspectives ranging from philosophical inquiries that consider whether and how differences are constructed at the level of ethics, obligations, and duties, to historical inquiries that attempt to locate core differences within and between historical periods, and to practice-oriented perspectives that suggest how differences are created and recreated in response to concrete problems and through different kinds of organised activities with different goals and meanings.
In her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, Samantha Power reflects on her eight years in the Obama administration. Although she claims that the experience did little to change her views, there is a considerable disjuncture between her point of view in her award-winning earlier book “A Problem from Hell,” in which she criticizes U.S. officials for not doing the right thing, and her point of view in The Education of an Idealist, in which she defends indifference of U.S. officials under somewhat similar circumstances during the Obama years. The author of Problem could not have written Education, and the author of Education could not have written Problem. What does this tell us about the possibility for ethics in foreign policy?
) denote the number of odd-balanced unimodal sequences of size
with even parts congruent to
) and odd parts at most half the peak. We prove that two-variable generating functions for
are simultaneously quantum Jacobi forms and mock Jacobi forms. These odd-balanced unimodal rank generating functions are also duals to partial theta functions originally studied by Ramanujan. Our results also show that there is a single
to which the errors to modularity of these two different functions extend. We also exploit the quantum Jacobi properties of these generating functions to show, when viewed as functions of the two variables
, how they can be expressed as the same simple Laurent polynomial when evaluated at pairs of roots of unity. Finally, we make a conjecture which fully characterizes the parity of the number of odd-balanced unimodal sequences of size
with even parts congruent to
and odd parts at most half the peak.
Barnett uses the 'Jewish Problem' to compare how different kinds of nationalism have offered different ways of dealing with minorities and, in turn, the strategies available to minorities who want to both retain their community and maintain their physical survival. Nineteenth-century Europe developed two different kinds of nationalism that had different responses to the minorities in their midst. Western ‘civic’ conceptions of the nation offered minorities the ability to integrate if they accepted that they were part of the civic nation. Eastern 'ethnic' nationalism could not imagine minorities such as the Jews as being a candidate for membership in the nation. In response to the opportunities offered by countries with civic nationalism, Jews 'reformed' Judaism and their Jewish identities so that it could fit into a broader Christian, liberal society. For Eastern Jews, there was no possibility of integration, forcing then to flee, turn to broader transnational movements such as socialism, or develop their own brand of Jewish nationalism, best known as Zionism.
Optimism and pessimism are distinct constructs that have demonstrated independent relationships with aspects of health and well-being. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether optimism or pessimism is more closely linked with physical and mental health among older adults.
Community-dwelling older adults (N = 272) ages 59–95 in the southern United States.
The Life Orientation Test—Revised and the Short Form 8.
At the bivariate level, optimism was associated with higher physical health and mental health, while pessimism was associated with lower physical health and mental health. Multiple-regression analyses as well as comparison of correlation coefficients found that pessimism was more closely associated with physical health and mental health than optimism.
These results add to the literature suggesting that, in terms of older adults’ health and well-being, avoiding pessimism may be more important than being optimistic.
This article uses the concept of international practices to explore the distinctions between human rights and humanitarianism in the contemporary period and, in turn, uses this exploration to comment on the concept of international practices. First section proposes to advance the theoretical and empirical utility of the concept of practices by parsing it into the ‘problem’ that sets the story in motion, what counts as competent action, background knowledge, and meanings. Second section applies this framework to the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. Beginning in the 1990s, they began responding to many of the same material realities, which unleashed two, interrelated, processes, but had different ways of understanding competent action, background knowledge, and meanings. They began to revise their practices not only in response to new challenges but also to how the other evolved, generating new distinctions. These points of distinction were structured by different kinds of suffering and informed their contrasting narratives of precarity in the case of humanitarianism, and progress in human rights. The conclusion considers how this discussion of human rights and humanitarianism redirects contemporary research on international practices.
Paternalism can be broadly understood as the substitution of one actor's judgment for another's in order to improve the object's welfare, interests, and happiness. Whether such actions evoke feelings of admiration or condemnation often depends on the eye of the beholder and whether one is the giver or the receiver. The subjects of the chapters – including human rights activists, asylum case officers, gender specialists, protection officers, UN officials, relief workers, peacebuilders, and legal experts – all present themselves as motivated by a sense of compassion and duty. Enacting an ethic of care and responsibility, they were attempting to correct perceived injustices, defend vulnerable populations from harm, and provide new opportunities and choices to marginalized and oppressed peoples. As Swaine observes of aid workers, but probably is true of many others mentioned in this volume, they were acting on an “imperative,” the heartfelt belief that something had to be done. However, as she and others acknowledge, this imperative can lead them to act first and ask questions later, if ever. Sometimes they apologize for their neglect. At other times, though, they offer reasons why their unilateral actions were unavoidable, understandable, and perhaps even in the best interests of the population in need.
Yet few actors, regardless of the imperatives or circumstances, want to be seen as a paternalist or accused of acting paternalistically. Care is one thing, but control and domination are quite another. Wanting to improve the circumstances of the marginalized is a noble calling, but substituting their judgment for another's is generally perceived to be beyond the bounds of acceptability. There is a thin, and often invisible, line between care and control. But not all offenses are equal. Arguably the paternalism of the nineteenth-century imperial powers described by John Hobson is more offensive than the paternalism that occurs in Palestinian refugee camps as described by Ilana Feldman. Stephen Hopgood's chapter on female genital mutilation/cutting describes how Western actors have adopted different kinds of tactics in their century-long effort to stamp it out; some forms, he intimates, are more disrespectful than others.
We live in a world in which the international community vigorously protects and promotes the quality of human life. Within twenty-four hours of a natural disaster, emergency relief organizations deploy armies of aid workers to provide medical care to the survivors. The International Committee for the Red Cross visits prisoners of war and political prisoners to ensure that their basic rights, as listed in the Geneva Conventions, are honored. The international community now has a “responsibility to protect” populations who are victims of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. Peacebuilders in post-conflict countries aspire to help societies remove the root causes of conflict and to create the conditions for a full, just, and lasting peace. Organizations, such as the United Nations Commission for Refugees and Refugees International, provide direct assistance to refugees and other displaced peoples. Thousands of rights-based organizations, including Fédération Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l'Homme and Amnesty International, struggle to protect children, women, gays, and other vulnerable populations. Labor and rights-oriented monitoring agencies organize to improve the conditions of workers. Often operating in the shadow of major global initiatives, such as the Millennium Development Goals, development organizations provide all manner of aid, including job training, micro-financing, and technical assistance. The World Health Organization, the Gates Foundation, and other global health organizations cover all dimensions of physical and mental health, from reproductive health, to trauma counseling, to the containment and eradication of disease. Educators in the West collect textbooks for internationally funded schools in sub-Saharan Africa. Health and human rights organizations monitor and report on organ trafficking, including trying to stop the world's rich from treating the world's poor as a supermarket for body parts. Everywhere we look the international community is committed to the protection of people from unfavorable conditions, from others, and from themselves.
These practices of care are inspired by, and are the realization of, a growing sense of humanity. Historically speaking, it was not too long ago that compassion was largely circumscribed by boundaries of family, residence, and religion. Certainly there were real material limitations placed on the lengths that individuals and communities could go to help distant strangers. Until there were advances in communication technologies, it was impossible to know about the hardships experienced by others in faraway lands when it was happening.
Nearly all of those who want to make the world a better place are engaged in paternalism. This book asks how power is intertwined with practices of global compassion. It argues that the concept of paternalism illuminates how care and control are involved in the everyday practices of humanitarianism, human rights, development and other projects designed to improve the lives of others. The authors explore whether and how the paternalism of the nineteenth century differs from the paternalism of today, and offer a provocative look at the power in global ethics, raising the question of whether, when, and how paternalism can be justified.