Humanitarian intervention and coercive action: the Balkans

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:
Humanitarian intervention and coercive action: the Balkans

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The end of the Cold War reshaped international relations, subverting what had been assumed to be the fixed norms of late-twentieth-century world politics. It did so moreover at a speed and to an extent that defied prediction or planning. Following on quickly from the breaching of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and German reunification, the Baltic territories of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania broke from the Soviet Union, establishing a trio of new sovereign states in north-central Europe. Further east, Ukraine and Belorussia also moved from their status as component Soviet republics to full statehood. This chapter examines the United Nations' humanitarian intervention and coercive action in the Balkans, focusing on Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Kosovo. It also discusses British Prime Minister Tony Blair's views on military intervention which he stated in a widely reported speech in Chicago, Illinois, in April 1999. Moreover, the chapter considers the decisive air war launched by the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation against Serbia which created the conditions for the establishment of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo.

Keywords: United Nations; humanitarian intervention; Balkans; Yugoslavia; Kosovo; Serbia; Tony Blair; Bosnia; military intervention; North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

Chapter.  14572 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Relations

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