edited by João Casqueira Cardoso and Cláudia Toriz Ramos (Universidade Fernando Pessoa)
Since the post-war, humanitarian action has been rooted on a set of universally agreed-upon values and international norms. Humanitarian action is also a good example of glocalism, as it is based on the encounter between the abovementioned universal values within diverse political-cultural contexts. From the reasons leading to humanitarian crises (armed conflicts, natural disasters, health emergencies, or mass migrations, among others) to the responses to those crises (peace and rescue operations, healthcare, and assistance to displaced persons, or the many forms of development aid), the links between local actors and international structures are a constant aspect of humanitarian action. This dialectic between the closest possible contact with local populations and the worldwide scale has drawn growing attention – especially after the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit – with the commitment of international agencies and donors to transfer more responsibilities to local responders. Still, it remains to be seen whether the legal and political scopes of humanitarian action are effectively opened to change, and how a true humanitarian glocalism may emerge in the future. For both theorists and aid workers, there is space for questioning the implications of recent developments in humanitarian action: 1) can the contributions of theories on humanitarianism, human rights, or even sustainable development, help to rethink humanitarian action in the light of glocalism? 2) up to what point can the new field practices in humanitarian action, such as culturally sensitive approaches, bottom-up strategies, and local empowerment policies, play a role in the emergence of new, more glocal forms of humanitarian action? This special issue aims at debating these questions both from theoretical and applied perspectives. Articles on debates and problem-oriented issues, as well as fieldwork cases, will be welcome. A focus on the questions faced by both field workers and academics (such as the training of experts in humanitarian action), in all dimensions and relevant aspects of humanitarian action, may also provide good discussion points.
Deadline: May 30, 2022. This issue (2022, 2) is scheduled to appear at end-July 2022.