Humanitarian Intervention in World Politics

Nicholas Wheeler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

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Non-intervention is commonly understood as the norm in international society, but should military intervention be permissible when governments massively violate the human rights of their citizens, are unable to prevent such violations, or if states have collapsed into civil war and anarchy? This is the guiding question addressed in this chapter. International law forbids the use of force except for purposes of self-defence and collective enforcement action authorized by the UN Security Council (UNSC). The challenge posed by humanitarian intervention is whether it also should be exempted from the general ban on the use of force. This chapter examines arguments for and against forcible humanitarian intervention. The theoretical analysis is explored in relation to humanitarian intervention during the 1990s and the war on terror. The final section focuses on The Responsibility to Protect, an important attempt to address this challenge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Globalization of World Politics : an Introduction to International Relations
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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