Celebrity philanthropists like Bono, Madonna, George Clooney and Angelina Jolie have become the public face of the humanitarian agenda, along with gala events such as Comic Relief in Britain and its counterpart Red Nose Day in the USA. There’s nothing new about the social elite becoming publicly involved in ‘good causes,’ but today’s highly-networked configurations of power, business, media and charity are different: ‘designer’ activists, campaigners and philanthropists are flourishing as never before. But there’s a puzzle: there is little evidence that celebrity endorsements contribute to higher levels of donations to their favored charities, and opinion polls suggest that celebrity advocacy has a peculiar legitimacy with the public.Continue Reading →
If you missed the round-table discussion on Humanity Journal’s blog discussion on the changing nature of knowledge production in fragile states, below is an overview with key quotes from the essays and links to each author’s contribution. The series began with an essay from Rebecca Tapscott and Daval Desai, previously highlighted on this blog. Below are […]Continue Reading →
The absence of an archive to capture primary source data on conflict does not mean that there are no models to inform such an endeavor. In this essay, we introduce several models of archives related to human security issues and discuss some of the challenges that would be involved to create an archive for social science data.Continue Reading →
Across a swathe of the world—most places in what we can call the ‘Greater Middle East’ from the Sahara and the Maghreb, through the Horn of Africa and the Levant to Iraq and Central Asia—political systems are moving away from institutional forms, away from familiar forms of nationalism, and away from familiar forms of democracy […]Continue Reading →
Occasionally, a senior international policymaker provides a candid, on-the-record, reflection on the question of what he or she reads, and how academics might best influence policy.
Jean-Marie Guéhenno, who was head of the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations from 2000-2008, is a prime example of a self-identified intellectual who took on a very senior policymaking […]Continue Reading →
It is a truism that anti-authoritarian movements and organizations tend to mirror their opponents in thinking, modes of operation and political practices, and especially to become intolerant of any view that differs from that of the leadership. And indeed, in Burma’s case, the choice to elevate Aung San Suu Kyi to the status of icon for democracy has had important and potentially fatal limitations, for both the domestic and international components of the democracy campaign.Continue Reading →
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