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Keywords:

  • conflict;
  • humanitarianism;
  • marketisation;
  • non-governmental organisations (NGOs);
  • politicisation;
  • reconstruction;
  • securitisation;
  • war

This paper introduces the five other contributions that make up this special edition of Disasters.1 It presents some background on the general issues that surround the reconstruction of conflict-affected countries, before going on to comment on some of the more prominent concerns that have emerged within the sphere of humanitarianism over the past decade or so. To contextualise the overall theme of this special edition, it then points to three areas of commonality among the five substantive papers—namely, issues of ‘marketisation’, ‘politicisation’, and ‘securitisation’. These, this paper proposes, represent emerging patterns in the reconstruction of conflict-affected countries generally. The focus of this special edition thus has a broader resonance and, as such, it might be considered to be representative of wider geopolitical trends. It is, in sum, argued that these three patterns have combined to narrow the space in which humanitarian and reconstructive interventions into conflict-affected countries are organised and undertaken.