ESR Project 13

Humanitarian Interventions and Political Security: The Politics and Practice of Human Security

Supervisors Sarah Jane Cooper-Knock (University of Edinburgh) and Michael Eilenberg (Aarhus University).

Labelling is a political act that shapes the world around us and our relationship to it. Consequently, it is crucial that we understand labels and their impacts. This study will explore the politics behind the identification of humanitarian crises and explore the effects of labelling on interventions in practice. The researcher will identify one humanitarian crisis, contestation over the naming of this crisis, and involvement in the crisis. Specifically, they will ethnographically explore involvement from the perspective of the humanitarian organization, population and state institutions. The project will provide knowledge about the politics behind the identification of humanitarian crises in Africa and the effects of interventions in practice and will use the insights to ask what impact labelling has on humanitarian space and human security.

Planned secondment(s): 3 months placement during fieldwork with a leading humanitarian organisation. The secondment will aid the ESR’s exploration and understanding of humanitarian interventions in Africa and the ESR will gain insight into the planning and pragmatics of interventions.