11. Humanitarian Intervention

David Fisher

in Morality and War

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199599240
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725692 | DOI:
11. Humanitarian Intervention

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Just‐war teaching historically recognized that force could be used to protect strangers. But, from Treaty of Westphalia through to the establishment of the UN in 1945, a norm of non‐intervention gradually prevailed. This was increasingly questioned during the 1990s as atrocities took place in Europe, despite failure to intervene in Rwanda. This culminated in the 1999 NATO operation in Kosovo and the endorsement by the 2005 UN Summit of a ‘Responsibility to Protect’. But Kosovo was the last such operation. Intervention in Darfur was late and ineffective. Growing unease with humanitarian intervention is fuelled by concerns prompted by the Iraq War. This chapter considers whether and how the case for humanitarian intervention can be rewon, with occasions for intervention carefully delimited by the just‐war criteria. The chapter concludes that just‐war teaching would permit and may even require humanitarian intervention where the threat to the lives of innocents is sufficiently grave.

Keywords: Darfur; humanitarian intervention; Kosovo; NATO; non‐intervention norm; Responsibility to Protect; Rwanda; Summit; United Nations; Westphalia Treaty

Chapter.  8617 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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