Modern international relations scholars typically trace the origins of what John Stuart Mill labelled the ‘doctrine of non-intervention’ back to the founding of the modern nation-state system with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. The debate over the ethical justifications for armed ‘humanitarian’ intervention, however, has its roots in an argument that predates those treaties by well over a century. In 1514, priest Bartolomé de Las Casas denounced the Spanish invasion of the Americas, arguing that Spaniards had no right to forcefully impose their will upon the native inhabitants. Las Casas attracted support from both Pope Paul III and Emperor Charles V (King Charles I of Spain), but his argument soon met with considerable resistance from those materially benefitting from the militaristic occupation. One such figure was Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, who argued that the Spanish were in fact obliged to forcefully intervene in the Americas, on the grounds that the native people were ‘barbarians’ who must accept the intervention ‘as rectification and punishment for their crimes against divine and natural law’. Moreover, Sepúlveda claimed that ongoing intervention was necessary to:
… prevent the harm and the great calamities [the Amerindians] have inflicted—and which those who have not yet been brought under Spanish rule continue today to inflict—on a great number of innocent people who are sacrificed each year to idols.
Although contemporary debate surrounding humanitarian intervention tends to be couched in the liberal language of ‘universal’ human rights and the ‘responsibility to protect’ rather than ‘divine and natural law’, echoes of the Las Casas–Sepúlveda debate can be heard in most every argument for and against humanitarian intervention since.
This post critically examines the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention by military means, drawing chiefly from two works: The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention, a collection of essays edited by Don E. Scheid (2014); and The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War, by humanitarian aid worker Conor Foley (2010). A number of academic journal articles are also reviewed, with those given closest attention including Gillian Brock’s (2006) ‘Humanitarian Intervention: Closing the Gap Between Theory and Practice’, Beate Jahn’s (2012) ‘Humanitarian Intervention: What’s in a Name?’, Noam Chomsky’s (2008) ‘Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right’; and Anne Orford’s (2013) ‘Moral Internationalism and the Responsibility to Protect’, while various other works are also drawn from to a lesser extent.
After a brief overview of the recent intellectual history and practice of armed humanitarian intervention in the first section, analysis is provided in the second to show that, despite some subtle changes in rhetoric, virtually nothing has changed in the great powers’ decision-making around the subject. In the final section, a number of recommendations are made, including the need for outcomes to be put ahead of intentions; a greater focus on ‘last resort’ and ‘responsibility to rebuild’; greater punishment for leaders who wage unlawful interventions; the abandonment of ‘preventive’ wars, multiple ‘responsibility to protect’ doctrines, and sanctions; and a modern debt jubilee.
State of the Field
In order to better understand the current intellectual debates within international relations (IR) scholarship around the legitimacy and beneficence of humanitarian intervention, it is necessary to ground them in the historical context in which they arose. To that end, this section provides a brief outline of the dominant arguments for and against intervention, and the events that shaped them, from the post-Second World War period to the present.
Contra British historian R. H. Tawney’s famous assertion that, ‘Either war is a crusade or it is a crime,’ article 2(4) of the United Nations (UN) Charter holds that any military intervention not sanctioned by the UN Security Council is—at least nominally—both a crusade and a crime:
All members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State …
Heavily influenced by the horrors of the Second World War, the 1945 UN Charter urged states to guarantee ‘universal respect for, and observation of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all’. Exactly what those rights and freedoms were supposed to be, however, would not be delineated until three years later, in the UN Declaration of Human Rights. While not legally binding, the Declaration could be invoked to apply diplomatic pressure on any government that violated its articles, thereby challenging states’ exclusive jurisdiction over their own citizens and weakening the three-hundred-year-old doctrine of non-intervention. The adoption in 1966 of both the international covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and Civil and Political Rights, saw the 1948 Declaration legally codified. Collectively, the three documents are often referred to as the ‘International Bill of Human Rights’.
During this period, growing tensions between the what came be known as the West, or the ‘First World’—the newly dominant United States, the traditional great powers of western Europe, and their wealthy allies—and the East, or the ‘Second World’—China, the Soviet Union, and their poorer ones—saw Western IR scholarship dominated by a similar rivalry between liberals and realists. And indeed, it is this rift that is reflected in the UN’s seemingly dichotomous goals of promoting a Kantian sort of ‘universal’ liberalism, while maintaining the particularism of robust state sovereignty preferred by realists. Meanwhile, scholars in the ‘Third World’—which is to say, the poorest countries—were developing alternative explanations for the unequal power relations present in the international system. Dependency theory, developed in the late 1950s under the guidance of Raul Prebisch, Director of the UN Economic Commission for Latin America, held that the power of the ‘core’ countries—the US and Europe—was maintained by their economic exploitation of those in the ‘periphery’. World-systems analysts added a further nuance, subdividing these categories into ‘semi-core’ and ‘semi-periphery’. Despite gaining considerable attention from Western IR analysts during the 1970–80s, the popularity of these broadly neo-Marxist theories would soon suffer a similar fate to that of the Berlin Wall. Many more orthodox Western Marxists had retreated from their commitment to emancipatory politics during this period, too—some making peace with liberalism, while others morphed into their neo-conservative opposites—as the dream of communism became increasingly conflated with totalitarianism in the public imagination.
With the end of the Cold War emerged a flurry of interest among Western intellectuals and policymakers alike in the idea of promoting freedom, democracy, and human rights abroad. Whereas previous Western military interventions—most notably, those in Korea, Cuba, and Vietnam—had been ostensibly justified on the basis of guarding the West against the spread of what John F. Kennedy referred to as the ‘monolithic and ruthless conspiracy’ of communism, the absence of the Soviet Union suggested that either intervention policy would have to change, or a new rationalisation would be needed. When this ‘unipolar moment’ failed to produce the peaceful, democratic, ‘new world order’ anticipated by George H. W. Bush, the latter path was chosen.
The language of human rights rose to prominence in the 1990s, a period now referred to by some intervention proponents as ‘the Golden Age’ of humanitarian intervention. The UN Security Council (UNSC) first invoked its Chapter VII powers with respect to a purely internal conflict in December 1992, when all permanent members supported Resolution 794, which explicitly sanctioned a military humanitarian intervention in Somalia. However, ‘Operation Restore Hope’ not only failed to end the violence in Somalia, but arguably caused it to escalate, with gunmen turning on UN peacekeepers and ambushing US soldiers. The Western public’s support for intervention quickly waned, and would not resurge until after the UN had failed to prevent either the 1994 genocide in Rwanda or the 1995 massacre in Bosnia.
Writing in the aftermath of a NATO bombing raid in Kosovo that had not been sanctioned by the UNSC, and a sanctioned but too-late intervention in East Timor, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan pondered the tension between the moral imperative and the legal ramifications of intervention in 1999:
To those for whom the greatest threat to the future of international order is the use of force in the absence of a Security Council mandate, one might say: … think about Rwanda.
To those for whom the Kosovo action heralded a new era … one might equally ask: Is there not a danger of such interventions … setting dangerous precedents for future interventions without a clear criterion to decide who might invoke these precedents and in what circumstances?
As a response to Annan’s challenge, an ad hoc commission was formed in 2000 under the auspices of the Canadian government by former Foreign Minister of Australia Gareth Evans and former senior Algerian diplomat Mohamed Sahnoun: The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). Its 2001 report, The Responsibility to Protect, drawing heavily from the tradition of Just War Theory—commonly associated with political theorist Michael Walzer—attempted to square this circle. The report proposed a re-characterisation of the notion of state sovereignty, from one of control, to one of responsibility; specifically, the responsibility to uphold citizens’ human rights. This ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) doctrine rhetorically transformed what had previously been a right to intervene into a duty to intervene.
Despite the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks in the US seeing many of the report’s criteria for intervention roundly ignored—for example, ‘right authority’, ‘last resort’ and ‘proportional means’—the language of R2P was widely adopted by Western leaders during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan and in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The ‘emerging norm’ of R2P gained further legitimacy when it—in a narrowed version than had been presented in the ICISS report—was unanimously endorsed by the UN General Assembly in its World Summit Outcome of 2005, and subsequently adopted by the UNSC. The concept of R2P was invoked during crises in Darfur, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Mali. The first official implementation of the R2P rationale came in 2011, when the UNSC approved military intervention in Libya.
As is the case with human rights discourse more broadly, the language of humanitarian intervention is unquestionably that of liberalism. The image of humans as ‘rights bearers’ was born of the Enlightenment period in Europe, and liberals tend to view international interventions in the name of human rights as merely an external expression of the values and commitments that are fundamental to liberalism. Fernando Tesón, for example, claims that ‘non-interventionism is a doctrine of the past’ and that humanitarian intervention is justified because it is based on the recognition of ‘the common humanity that binds us all’, but is at the same time rooted in individualism. Bhikhu Parekh highlights the importance of intent, suggesting that humanitarian intervention must be ‘wholly or primarily guided by the sentiment of humanity, compassion or fellow feeling.’ What distinguishes humanitarian from other types of intervention, in the liberal view, is its moral character. This moral character is derived from the recognition of the obligation to come to the rescue of people in need, as one would in the case of a drowning child. Gillian Brock proposes a ‘model of global justice’, which favours the protection of individuals’ human rights over state sovereignty, arguing that the tension between the two considerations ‘disappears in certain cases warranting humanitarian intervention.’
Realists have long been sceptical of the notion of humanitarian intervention, although—to the extent that there can said to be one realist ‘rule’ on the matter—they do not necessarily oppose it, provided it is also in the intervening state’s best interest. The realist view essentially sees states as scaled-up versions of self-interested individuals, rather than the more optimistic model of ‘human nature’ than underpins liberalism. Hans Morgenthau, for example, criticised the ‘feebleness of universal standards’ that liberals attempt to apply to world affairs, noting that ‘moral and political concepts take on different meanings in different environments.’ Kenneth Waltz saw intervention for purposes other than immediate national interests as unnecessary and usually deleterious, although this was in the context of the Cold War, during which time he considered the maintenance of ‘the balance [of power between the US and USSR] and its by-product’ to the most important task, in order to ‘perpetuate an international stalemate as a minimum basis of security.’ In the post-Cold War period, realists such as John Mearsheimer and Michael Mandelbaum have warned against the use of the military to pursue ‘universal’ goals, lest it get ‘caught up in the poisonous tangle of local politics’ in far-off lands. Pointing to the strain the Kosovo intervention had placed on US relations with Russia and China—who had both vetoed the operation—Mandelbaum urged others to stop trying to ‘turn American foreign policy into a branch of social work.’ Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt have labelled liberal universalism a ‘revisionist grand strategy’.
Constructivists hold that the notion of legitimate humanitarian intervention, as well as the ideas of who is human and deserving of protection on which it depends, are socially constructed. In order to make sense of why states would choose to conduct a military intervention that was not in their self-interest, nor a result of pure altruism, constructivists look to the power of norms in the international system. In this view, it is the pressure from other states in the international community, who are themselves conforming to normative expectations, that causes states to intervene where they otherwise may not. Some constructivists also point to the role of emotions in humanitarian intervention.
Many critical theorists oppose the notion of humanitarian intervention on the basis of its ethnocentric, imperialist nature. They typically highlight the cultural biases present in the idea of ‘universal’ rights. Cultural relativism is defended on the grounds that circumstances vary widely from society to society, so what is right for one may not be right for another. Some critical theorists have argued that the atomistic individualism of Western liberalism that has encroached on other societies threatens social cohesion, increasing the likelihood of the sort of civil unrest that prompts calls for intervention.
Marxists tend to be in broad agreement with critical theorists on the above points, but see these objections to intervention as secondary concerns, which focus primarily on the superstructure rather than the base. Marxists reject humanitarian intervention on its face, because the ‘general contradiction’ is not between liberal democracy and tyranny, but between labour and capital. Marxists hold that the roots of societal conflict lie in the inequities produced by the capitalist mode of production and the profit motive that drives it. The only war worth waging, in this historical materialist view, is that of the global proletariat against the capitalist class, to seize the means of production and abolish private property.
Anti-imperialism? Yes. But non-interventionism? No. We must intervene, but somehow it must be for the other man’s good. We must be trustees, not imperialists.
Describing military interventions as ‘humanitarian’ is merely an attempt to cloak them in a sense of unquestionable moral rightfulness and legitimacy. The term ‘humanitarian intervention’ itself is question-begging, appearing to contain its own justification, which presupposes that such interventions serve ‘humanity’. Thus, the reasoning involved is tautological. Further, the label constructs a false dichotomy, in which any opposition to humanitarian intervention is tantamount to advocating for suffering and death. In this respect, it is similar to the common practice of counting only the deaths that have occurred under totalitarian regimes in order to assert that liberal capitalism is the system best equipped to eradicate poverty, or George W. Bush’s post-9/11 claim that, ‘Either you are with us, are you are with the terrorists.’
Arguably, however, the real key to the endurance of the label lies in the fact that its claim is empirically unfalsifiable. Assessing whether an intervention, or lack thereof, would result in a reduction of suffering and death relies entirely on counterfactual analysis; which is to say, speculation. Even judging whether an intervention was a success or a failure after the fact is therefore impossible. Many of the R2P criteria, such as the ‘reasonable prospect of success’, rely on the same type of speculation, but this is especially troublesome in those which deal with ‘prevention’, which the ICISS report lists as the ‘single most important dimension of the responsibility to protect’. Although neither strictly deontological nor consequentialist in their liberalism, intervention advocates routinely assign more weight to the intentions of the intervening state than the outcomes for the people in whose states they would intervene.
Further, those military interventions that have the strongest case for being successes—that is, those which seem most obviously to have resulted in a net positive outcome in terms of reducing suffering and death—have not been regarded as humanitarian. Rather, they have been routinely denounced by Western powers. India’s 1971 intervention to stop the brutal civil war between West and East Pakistan, allowing the latter—now Bangladesh—its independence, is one such example. It was undeniably in India’s own interest to do so for reasons of regional stability, but self-interest and positive humanitarian outcomes are not necessarily mutually exclusive. Another example is the 1978 Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia that drove out the Khmer Rouge as their atrocities were peaking. Even if one accepts—as Asia Pacific Centre for R2P Director Alex Bellamy has argued—that Vietnam’s primary motivation was to secure Vietnamese borders, limit Chinese influence, and remove Pol Pot because of his recalcitrance, rather than to halt injustice, it still succeeded in halting that injustice.
The selective application of humanitarian intervention by powerful states, in which human rights failings on the part of that states’ enemies have received prominent attention, while being conveniently ignored in the case of its friends, suggests that realists are correct when they say that attempts to separate the national interest from states’ decision to go to war are doomed to failure. This hypocritical practice has been especially clear in the case of the United States.
Newly unhampered by the threat of retaliation by a rival superpower, the US invaded Panama in November 1989 under the banner of ‘Operation Just Cause’ in order to kidnap its former leader Manuel Noriega. Formerly on the CIA payroll, Noriega was prosecuted in Florida for narco-trafficking. In the context of the ‘war on drugs’, this effectively rendered the invasion a humanitarian intervention. For good measure, the US President also listed the defence of Panamanian human rights and democracy as reasons for the invasion.
After having cited humanitarian reasons for intervening to turn back Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in 1991, the elder Bush urged the Kurdish population in Iraq, upon the US military’s withdrawal, to ‘take matters into their own hands’ against Saddam Hussein’s regime, who promptly slaughtered thousands of them. The intervention in Somalia was cut drastically short when pictures of the 18 US Rangers killed were beamed into American households, swaying the US public’s opinion against the operation.
Of course, the US was not alone in its habit of intervening in other countries, only to abort the mission when public opinion turned. UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was also a major proponent of half-hearted interventions. US Army General Wesley Clark’s account of his experiences during the Bosnia and Kosovo interventions—the first of which failed to stop a massacre, the second of which arguably facilitated one—concludes that the ‘real’ purpose of those campaigns was never humanitarian, but merely an attempt to re-establish NATO’s credibility as a defensive alliance. A similar analysis was offered by Marxist historian Ellen Meiksins Wood, who added:
The ‘bungling’ [was] inevitable, simply because the war [in Kosovo was] driven by overriding factors, quite distinct from, and in opposition to, its stated objectives.
Roughly one month after the US invasion of Afghanistan had begun, First Lady Laura Bush delivered a radio address:
Civilised people throughout the world are speaking out in horror; not only because our hearts break for the women and children in Afghanistan, but also because in Afghanistan we see the world the terrorists would like to impose on the rest of us.
The implication being, that ‘our’ hearts were breaking for these Afghani women and children, not because they were being bombed by the US military in retaliation for an airliner attack that had nothing to do with them, but because they are being subjugated by and must be saved from Afghani men, who are savages and terrorists. As per her unwavering commitment to human rights, this white woman was ‘saving brown women from brown men’.
Similar orientalist human rights rhetoric was employed by Western leaders to justify the 2003 invasion of Iraq, when the public seemed unconvinced of the imminent threat posed by Saddam Hussein. And, certainly, the human rights argument appeared more plausible, given how many Iraqis had died under Saddam’s watch; although, how many of those deaths occurred due to the sanctions that had been in place since the 1991 invasion is impossible to say.
In March 2011, the UNSC passed Resolution 1973, which invoked the responsibility to protect doctrine, and authorised members to ‘take all necessary measures’ to protect Libyan civilians. A French–US coalition began airstrikes against government troops in Libya, ostensibly with the aim of protecting civilians and maintaining a no-fly zone. It quickly became apparent that these powers envisioned the removal of Muammar el-Qaddafi as part of their mission. Libyan rebel forces, with NATO support, captured and killed Qaddafi, as well as many of his family members. Since then, the same rebels who claimed they needed urgent protection from the dictator they were attempting to overthrow have committed scores of reprisal killings, in addition to torturing and arbitrarily detaining thousands of suspected Qaddafi supporters, and expelled tens of thousands of residents from their homes. Six months after the intervention, Human Rights Watch reported that abuses ‘appear to be so widespread and systematic that they may amount to crimes against humanity’. In 2015, it was estimated that 400,000 Libyans had fled the country.
As Eyal Weizman observes in The Least of All Possible Evils, in a passage that is worth quoting in full:
… the history of humanitarian intervention appears like a series of inversions and overcompensations: the failure in 1993 of the US humanitarian–military intervention in Somalia made the Clinton administration recoil from military action to halt the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Criticism of the US failure to act prompted Clinton to commit troops to halt the Serbian attack in Kosovo five years later. The lessons Tony Blair drew from that conflict encouraged him to support the invasion of Iraq in 2003 on humanitarian grounds. The failure to get international mandate for the Iraq invasion led the Franco-British initiative in Libya to seek international mandate in the spring of 2011. In the wake of these bombings, Nicolas Sarkozy claimed that this drive for humanitarian intervention based on R2P was a ‘new model for world governance’, but this model has already been in the making for years.
The notion of humanitarian intervention seems as little more than window-dressing for military excursions that either serve powerful states’ interests, please the voters of powerful states, or both. And, the responsibility to protect doctrine seems as nothing more than a ‘new name for old policy’.
Providing an extensive list of recommendations around the practice of armed humanitarian intervention is both difficult, because of the complicated ethical considerations involved, and largely futile, given the absence of a ‘global police force’ to punish those powerful states that continue to abuse the concept for their own ends. But, the leaders of powerful states can be punished, and the number of rhetorical devices that might be used to escape punishment can perhaps be reduced.
In order to prevent stated intentions being put ahead of humanitarian outcomes, there must be a greater emphasis placed on the ‘last resort’ criterion, and severe legal penalties involved for leaders who wage an unlawful intervention. Further, these penalties must actually be imposed. This is similar to Harvard Law professor Robert Fisher’s proposal that nuclear codes be implanted next to the heart of a volunteer, so that a leader wishing to launch a nuclear strike would first have to kill a person with his or her own hands. Only, in this case, instead of a volunteer being sacrificed, it would be the leader who waged the illegal war. Should a powerful state threaten to leave the UN system because its President or Prime Minister has been referred to the International Criminal Court, so be it. If this leads to a breakdown of the UN system, so be it. If the UN system is unable to prevent the selective and hypocritical use of interventions by the most powerful states within it, then it is little more than the public relations department for the imperial hegemon and it has no business sanctioning interventions at all.
Given that Minority Report is a work of fiction, and precognition is not a real thing, the focus on preventive war in the responsibility to protect doctrine must be remedied. All language that pertains to ‘prevention’ or the ‘threat of’ mass atrocities should not be present in any future attempts to formulate a set of criteria for humanitarian intervention. As regrettable as it may seem, intervention must only be permitted when a severe human rights violation is already underway, in order to ensure that the cure is not worse than the illness. Any leader who initiates a preventive war must also be subject to severe penalties.
The ‘responsibility to rebuild’ criterion must also be respected. Again, failure to do so must incur severe penalties. Further, laws must be put in place to ensure that the reconstruction effort employs indigenous labour wherever possible, and that no company from the intervening country may derive profit from the infrastructure provided.
The existence of two competing versions of the R2P doctrine creates both confusion and the opportunity for claiming the legitimacy of intervention on the basis of its adherence to R2P criteria, but which is not sanctioned by the UN. To prevent the misperception that states are permitted to form ad hoc coalitions in order to mount interventions, the UN should publicly distance itself from the ICISS version of the doctrine, which suggests that, since the UN has no military of its own, ‘What will be increasingly needed in the future are partnerships of the able, the willing and the well-intended.’The version of the doctrine accepted by the General Assembly in 2005 contains no such recommendation.
Sanctions have never worked to remedy the behaviour of tyrants, and only work to impoverish the citizens of the tyrannical state, which invariably foments greater civil unrest, which in turn leads to greater brutality from the regime. Presuming the goal is to avoid the necessity for humanitarian intervention, rather than cause it, imposing sanctions on human rights abusers cannot be considered a sound strategy.
Perhaps most importantly, with regard to the ‘root cause prevention’ section of the R2P doctrine, the UN must act to rein in its international financial institutions (IFIs). The ‘structural adjustment’ programmes imposed on states by the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with their extensive lists of ‘conditionalities’, have been abject failures, worsening inequality and breeding resentment. The mass privitisation of the public sector in poor countries has only worked to create oligarchies. In addition to revising their lending practices to better match their publicly espoused commitment to reducing inequality, the IFIs should allow a debt jubilee. Although freeing poorer countries from debt peonage alone may not be sufficient to establish global harmony, it is certainly necessary.
John Stuart Mill, ‘A Few Words on Non-intervention’ , in The Collected Works of John Stuart Mill, Vol. 21, ed. John M Robson (London: University of Toronto Press, 1991), 123.
For an examination of why this near-consensus is at best, overly simplistic, or at worst, plainly wrong, see Benno Teschke, The Myth of 1648: Class, Geopolitics and the Making of Modern International Relations(London: Verso, 2003).
Immanuel Wallerstein, European Universalism: The Rhetoric of Power(London: The New Press, 2006), 3–4.
Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda (~1545), as quoted in Wallerstein, European Universalism, 5.
The reader should note that, in the interest of brevity, ‘intervention’, ‘humanitarian intervention’, and ‘armed humanitarian intervention’ are herein used interchangeably, and refer exclusively to a coercive military intervention in a target state by an outside state, coalition of states, or an international organisation, unless otherwise explicitly indicated.
Don E. Scheid, et al. The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention, ed. Don E Scheid (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014). Hereafter referred to as EoAHI.
Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War(London: Verso, 2010).
Gillian Brock, ‘Humanitarian Intervention: Closing the Gap Between Theory and Practice’, Journal of Applied Philosophy23, no. 3 (2006): 277–91.
Beate Jahn, ‘Humanitarian Intervention: What’s in a Name?’ International Politics49, no. 1 (2012): 36–58.
Noam Chomsky, ‘Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right’, Monthly Review60, no. 4 (September 2008): 22–50.
Anne Orford, ‘Moral Internationalism and the Responsibility to Protect’, The European Journal of International Law24, no. 1 (2013): 83–108.
Quoted in Michael Straight, Make This the Last War(New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co., 1943), 1.
UN Charter art. 55, para. 4.
Available from http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/
Andrew Heywood, Global Politics (Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), 305, 309.
Immanuel Kant put his faith in the ‘moral politician, for whom it is a moral task’ and a duty to bring about perpetual piece. As quoted in Orford, 84.
See, e.g., Raul Prebisch, ‘Commercial Policy in the Underdeveloped Countries’, American Economic Review49 (1959): 251–73.
See, e.g., Immanuel Wallerstein, The Modern World-System: Capitalist Agriculture and the Origins of the European World-Economy in the Sixteenth Century(New York: Academic Press, 1974), 300–45.
While Prebisch himself was a liberal reformer, dependency theory more broadly built upon both Marx’s temporal and Lenin’s geospatial analyses of capitalism. Vincent Ferraro, ‘Dependency Theory: An Introduction’, in The Development Economics Reader, ed. Giorgio Secondi, 58–64 (London: Routledge, 2008).
Richard Seymour, The Liberal Defence of Murder(London: Verso, 2012), 3.
Heywood, 303; Don E. Scheid, ‘Introduction to Armed Humanitarian Intervention’, in EoAHI, 3.
Charles Krauthammer, ‘The Unipolar Moment’, Foreign Affairs 70, no. 1 (1991): 23–33; George R. Lucas, Jr., ‘Revisiting Armed Humanitarian Intervention: A 25-year Retrospective’, in EoAHI,29; Noam Chomsky, ‘Humanitarian Imperialism: The New Doctrine of Imperial Right’, Monthly Review60, no. 4 (September 2008): 22.
See, e.g., Heywood, 319; Lucas, 29; and Richard Falk, et al., ‘Humanitarian Intervention: A Forum’, The Nation 277, no. 2 (July 14, 2003): 11.
Foley, 5, 72.
Kofi Annan, ‘Two concepts of sovereignty’, The Economist352, (September 18, 1999): 49.
International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), The Responsibility to Protect (Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, December 2001).
See, e.g., Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations(New York: Basic Books, 1977).
Orford, 102; UN, 2005 World Summit Outcome, General Assembly Res. 60/1, Oct. 24, 2005, paras. 138–9.
Tzvetan Todorov ‘The Responsibility to Protect and the War in Libya’, trans. Kathleen A. Johnson, in EoAHI, 47.
Fernando R. Tesón, ‘The Liberal Case for Humanitarian Intervention’, in Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, edited byJ. L. Holzgrefe and Robert O. Keohane (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 128–9.
As quoted in Ned Dobos, ‘Idealism, Realism, and Success in Armed Humanitarian Intervention’, Philosophia44 (2016): 499.
Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace(New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985), 241; Morgenthau, ‘A Positive Approach to Democratic Ideology’, Proceedings of the Academy of Political Science30, no. 3 (May, 1971): 195.
Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics(Philippines: Addison-Wesley, 1979), 185.
Michael Mandelbaum, ‘The Reluctance to Intervene’, Foreign Policy95 (Summer 1994): 3.
Mandelbaum, ‘Foreign Policy as Social Work’, Foreign Affairs75, no. 1 (January 1996): 17.
John J. Mearsheimer & Stephen M. Walt, ‘The Case for Offshore Balancing’, Foreign Affairs95, no. 4 (July 2016): 71.
See, e.g., Martha Finnemore, ‘Constructing Norms of Humanitarian Intervention’, in The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, ed. Peter Katzenstein (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).
See, e.g., Vanessa Pupavac, ‘War on the Couch: The Emotionology of the New International Security Paradigm’, European Journal of Social Theory7, no. 2 (2004): 149–70.
For the most influential work on the topic, see Edward Said, Orientalism(London: Penguin, 1977).
Journalist Rita Hinden, writing of Britain’s obligation to the ‘non-adult races’, in New Fabian Colonial Essays, ed. Arthur Creech Jones (London: Hogarth Press, 1959), quoted in Richard Seymour, The Liberal Defence of Murder(London: Verso, 2012), 74.
Poverty-related deaths between 2006 and 2010 alone outnumbered the victims of Mao’s Great Leap Forward, Stalin’s repression and the Nazi Holocaust combined. Luigi Caranti, ‘The Causes of World Poverty: Reflections on Thomas Poggi’s Analysis’, Theoria57, no. 125 (December 2010): 36; CNN, ‘Transcript of President Bush’s Address’, CNN, September 21, 2001, http://edition.cnn.com/2001/US/09/20/gen.bush.transcript/ (accessed 28 October 28, 2017).
Helen Frowe, ‘Judging Armed Humanitarian Intervention’, in EoAHI, 96–7.
Alex J. Bellamy, ‘Motives, Outcomes, Intent and the Legitimacy of Humanitarian Intervention’, Journal of Military Ethics 3, no. 3 (2004): 228–9.
New York Times, ‘A Transcript of Bush’s Address on the Decision to Use Force in Panama’, New York Times, December 21, 1989, http://www.nytimes.com/1989/12/21/world/fighting-panama-president-transcript-bush-s-address-decision-use-force-panama.html (accessed October 30, 2017).
Michael Blake, ‘The Costs of War: Justice, Liability, and the Pottery Barn Rule’, in EoAHI, 143.
ANew York Times/CBSpoll showed 81% support for the intervention when Bush Sr. first announced it. The battle in which the 18 Rangers were killed claimed the lives of hundreds of Somalis. Dobos, 503–4.
Jim Whitman, ‘The Origins of the British Decision to Go to War: Tony Blair, Humanitarian Intervention, and the “New Doctrine of the International Community”’, in Intelligence and National Security Policymaking on Iraq: British and American Perspectives, eds. James P. Pfiffner & Mark Phythian (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008), 43.
Gen. Wesley K. Clark, US Army (ret.), Waging Modern War: Bosnia, Kosovo, and the Future of Combat (New York: Public Afairs Press, 2001).
Ellen Meiksins Wood, ‘Kosovo and the New Imperialism’, in Masters of the Universe? NATOs Balkan Crusade, ed. Tariq Ali (London: Verso, 2000), 196.
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