Is it worth it? Success and failure in UN intervention

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:
Is it worth it? Success and failure in UN intervention

Show Summary Details


This book has explored the conceptual and the ethical aspects of armed humanitarian intervention by the United Nations. It has also looked at the practice across the world as revealed by specific interventions. But a very fundamental question has yet to be directly confronted. Quite simply, as a general project in conflict management and resolution, does it work? Is there a convincing justification for the outlay of the vast — and limited — human, material and political capital that the UN undertakes when the Security Council mandates an operation? In an article titled ‘Give War a Chance’, published in Foreign Affairs in 1999, the American commentator Edward Luttwak argued against the entire concept of armed humanitarian intervention. This chapter assesses success and failure in UN intervention. It looks at the cases of Angola and Mozambique, the effectiveness of intervention, and UN operations in the Congo, West New Guinea and Cyprus.

Keywords: United Nations; humanitarian intervention; Edward Luttwak; Angola; Mozambique; Congo; West New Guinea; Cyprus

Chapter.  8489 words. 

Subjects: International Relations

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.