On Humanitarian Intervention: A New World Order Dilemma

Edited by Richard Falk

in America and the Misshaping of a New World Order

Published by University of California Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780520098701
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520943797 | DOI:
On Humanitarian Intervention: A New World Order Dilemma

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This chapter focuses on the debate on humanitarian intervention by the United Nations Security Council, which emerged in the 1990s reaching an initial climax in relation to the Kosovo war of 1999, against the impact of information technology (IT). This norm was later controversially confused by the attempt of the Bush presidency to validate the Iraq war in the post-9/11 atmosphere as an instance of humanitarian intervention. The manipulation of these norms provide geopolitical actors with pretexts for waging wars that cause great havoc and large-scale suffering, victimizing the very people that were supposedly being protected as well as undermining authentic calls for humanitarian intervention. Humanitarian intervention may be effective as an emergency measure to protect a vulnerable population or minority, but it is rarely able to impose a new political structure on a country, given the realities of postcolonial world order. When humanitarian effort morphs into a political restructuring operation, nationalist energies tend to be effectively mobilized to resist the foreign presence.

Keywords: United Nations Security Council; Bush presidency; humanitarian intervention; political restructuring; Kosovo war

Chapter.  6170 words. 

Subjects: Anthropology

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