Narrative of renewal

Pierre_zane

Member
Chinese
The expression is seen in the paragraph below:

Quote
The humanitarian reforms of the mid-2000s were designed to: address waste and mismanagement; strengthen the UN’s system of ‘humanitarian coordinators’; and ensure, through the use of the cluster approach, more reliable and systematic attention to response. It was assumed that making humanitarian action more accountable, transparent and efficient would also make it more legitimate. This narrative of renewal finds its contemporary expression in the drive towards technological innovation.
Unquote

My understanding is that it means something to the effect that "such way of thinking seems especially so in our context today". But I just cannot figure out the accurate connotation of each word in this expression. And is it a fixed collocation?

Thanks for shedding some light!
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    I would not say narrative of renewal was a fixed collocation, no!

    Looking at the preceding sentence (if you can understand that!) the writer has set up a defintion of the way in which the UN was working in the mid 2000s. That could be called a narrative. The writer is defining this as a narrative "about renewal". I cannot say how valid that definition is, especially as I do not really understand the preceding sentence. Maybe reform is always "renewal" and all he is saying is that the contemporary reforms are looking at technology for innovative approaches to the work of the UN?
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I can't say I understand it either, but here's my gloss on it:
    "Narrative of renewal" seems to be a euphemism. From what goes before, it seems there were issues of waste and mismanagement; and a lack of accountability, transparency, efficiency and legitimacy. "Renewal" then seems to mean "reforms". Today this attitude of identifying problems and implementing reforms is focused on technological innovation.
     

    Pierre_zane

    Member
    Chinese
    Yeah, I would agree that "narrative of renewal" simply refers to reform. But now I suspect more that the author is not a native of English.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    What is the source of the material you quoted? There's nothing there to suggest that the writer is not a native English speaker.
     
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