<b>Taking Consequences Seriously: Objections to Humanitarian Intervention</b>

Jennifer M. Welsh

in Humanitarian Intervention and International Relations

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780199267217
Published online April 2004 | e-ISBN: 9780191601118 | DOI:
Taking Consequences Seriously: Objections to Humanitarian Intervention

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Outlines and evaluates the political, legal, and ethical objections to humanitarian intervention. In so doing, it questions not only whether the doctrine of ‘sovereignty as responsibility’ has taken hold in international society, but also whether it should – particularly in the form suggested by Western states. The author argues that the ethical position of pluralism – as articulated by non-Western states – represents the most compelling case against humanitarian intervention, by emphasizing the impact on international society of relaxing the norm of non-intervention. Despite these pluralist objections, military intervention in cases of supreme humanitarian emergency can be defended on moral grounds, provided the intervention meets certain tests of legitimacy. Given the unintended consequences of military action, the author also suggests that more attention should be paid to the non-military means of operationalizing ‘sovereignty as responsibility’.

Keywords: Article 2(4); Chapter VII (United Nations Charter); consequentialism; customary international law; discretionary association; ECOWAS; Genocide Convention; Hedley Bull; International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty; Jennifer Welsh; Michael Walzer; Mohammed Ayoob; national interest; non-intervention; opinio juris; pluralism; raison d’etat; Robert Jackson; self-determination; solidarism; sovereignty as responsibility; United Nations Security Council

Chapter.  7877 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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