Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility To Protect: Who Should Intervene?

OUP Oxford
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Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility To Protect considers who should undertake humanitarian intervention in response to an ongoing or impending humanitarian crisis, such as found in Rwanda in early 1994, Kosovo in 1999, and Darfur more recently. The doctrine of the responsibility to protect asserts that when a state is failing to uphold its citizens' human rights, the international community has a responsibility to protect these citizens, including by undertaking humanitarian intervention. It is unclear, however, which particular agent should be tasked with this responsibility. Should we prefer intervention by the UN, NATO, a regional or subregional organization (such as the African Union), a state, a group of states, or someone else? This book answers this question by, first, determining which qualities of interveners are morally significant and, second, assessing the relative importance of these qualities. For instance, is it important that an intervener have a humanitarian motive? Should an intervener be welcomed by those it is trying to save? How important is it that an intervener will be effective and what does this mean in practice? The book then considers the more empirical question of whether (and to what extent) the current interveners actually possess these qualities, and therefore should intervene. For instance, how effective can we expect UN action to be in the future? Is NATO likely to use humanitarian means? Overall, it develops a particular normative conception of legitimacy for humanitarian intervention. It uses this conception of legitimacy to assess not only current interveners, but also the desirability of potential reforms to the mechanisms and agents of humanitarian intervention.
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About the author

Dr James Pattison was previously a Senior Lecturer in International Relations at the University of the West of England, Bristol. His research interests concern the moral issues raised when using military force abroad, including humanitarian intervention, the responsibility to protect, and the increased use of private military companies. His PhD on humanitarian intervention was awarded the Sir Ernest Barker Prize for Best Dissertation in Political Theory by the Political Studies Association. He has published various articles on the ethics of force, including for Ethics and International Affairs, the Journal of Military Ethics, the Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, the Journal of International Political Theory, the International Journal of Human Rights, and the Journal of Social Philosophy. He is is a Lecturer in Politics (Specialising in Human Rights) at the University of Manchester.
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Additional Information

Publisher
OUP Oxford
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Published on
Feb 25, 2010
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Pages
296
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ISBN
9780191609787
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Language
English
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Genres
Law / International
Philosophy / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
Philosophy / Political
Political Science / International Relations / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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The increased use of private military and security companies (PMSCs) is often said to be one of the most significant changes to the military in recent times. The Morality of Private War: The Challenge of Private Military and Security Companies provides a detailed assessment of the moral arguments for and against the use of PMSCs. In doing so, it considers objections to private force at the employee, employer, and international levels. For instance, does the potential for private contractors to possess mercenary motives affect whether they can use military force? Does a state abdicate an essential responsibility when it employs PMSCs? Is the use of PMSCs morally preferable to the alternatives, such as an all-volunteer force and a conscripted army? What are the effects of treating military services as a commodity for the governing rules of the international system? Overall, The Morality of Private War argues that private military force leads to not only contingent moral problems stemming from the lack of effective regulation, but also several deeper, more fundamental problems that mean that public force should be preferred. Nevertheless, it also argues that, despite these problems, PMSCs can sometimes (although rarely) be morally permissibly used. Ultimately, The Morality of Private War argues that the challenges posed by the use of PMSCs mean that we need to reconsider how military force ought to be organized and to reform our thinking about the ethics of war and, in particular, Just War Theory.
"Never again!" the world has vowed time and again since the Holocaust. Yet genocide, ethnic cleansing, and other mass atrocity crimes continue to shock our consciences—from the killing fields of Cambodia to the machetes of Rwanda to the agony of Darfur.

Gareth Evans has grappled with these issues firsthand. As Australian foreign minister, he was a key broker of the United Nations peace plan for Cambodia. As president of the International Crisis Group, he now works on the prevention and resolution of scores of conflicts and crises worldwide. The primary architect of and leading authority on the Responsibility to Protect ("R2P"), he shows here how this new international norm can once and for all prevent a return to the killing fields.

The Responsibility to Protect captures a simple and powerful idea. The primary responsibility for protecting its own people from mass atrocity crimes lies with the state itself. State sovereignty implies responsibility, not a license to kill. But when a state is unwilling or unable to halt or avert such crimes, the wider international community then has a collective responsibility to take whatever action is necessary. R2P emphasizes preventive action above all. That includes assistance for states struggling to contain potential crises and for effective rebuilding after a crisis or conflict to tackle its underlying causes. R2P's primary tools are persuasion and support, not military or other coercion. But sometimes it is right to fight: faced with another Rwanda, the world cannot just stand by.

R2P was unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly at the 2005 World Summit. But many misunderstandings persist about its scope and limits. And much remains to be done to solidify political support and to build institutional capacity. Evans shows, compellingly, how big a break R2P represents from the past, and how, with its acceptance in principle and effective application in practice, the promise of "Never again!" can at last become a reality.

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