Sovereignty and community: a ‘responsibility to protect’?

Norrie Macqueen

in Humanitarian Intervention and the United Nations

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780748636969
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672035 | DOI:
Sovereignty and community: a ‘responsibility to protect’?

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Closely associated with the notion of a ‘new peacekeeping’ having emerged in the post-Cold War period is the suggestion that United Nations interventions have become increasingly ‘post-Westphalian’ in nature. The argument is that the objectives of interventions are increasingly humanitarian and ‘political’ in the sense that they are focused primarily on improving conditions inside countries rather than on managing the (Westphalian) system of states of which they form part. UN military forces therefore should be and are concerned with the implantation of human rights and pluralist democracy in the countries in which they are deployed. This chapter explores the prospect of ‘post-Westphalian’ humanitarian intervention, focusing on sovereignty, community, globalisation and cosmopolitanism. It also discusses The Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, published in 2000 and produced by UN Under-Secretary-General Lakhdar Brahimi. In addition, the chapter looks at the issue of whether the UN has an inherent humanitarian ‘responsibility to protect’ people at risk of violence; the new millennium and the shifting tectonics of world politics; and the ‘CNN effect’.

Keywords: United Nations; humanitarian intervention; peacekeeping; sovereignty; community; globalisation; cosmopolitanism; responsibility to protect; world politics; CNN effect

Chapter.  11249 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

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