The Liberal Case for Humanitarian Intervention

  title={The Liberal Case for Humanitarian Intervention},
  author={Fernando R. Tes{\'o}n},
The paper makes the liberal argument for intervening by force to end or prevent serious human rights abuses. It relies on twin assumptions of liberal moral and political theory: that the primary purpose of governments is to protect human rights, and that victims of grievous injustice are entitled to outside help. Humanitarian intervention is legitimate when it is directed at suppressing human rights abuses and complies with the doctrine of double effect. The paper considers and rejects well… 


Abstract The article addresses three aspects of the humanitarian intervention doctrine. It argues, first, that the value of sovereignty rests on the justified social processes of the target state –

Humanitarian Intervention, Human Rights and the use of force in International Law

This thesis will critically examine the status of humanitarian intervention in international law. This will involve an examination of constraints on the use of force both prior to and after the

Between Non-Intervention and the Protection of Human Rights: A Moral Argument in Defense of Humanitarian Intervention

Although humanitarian intervention has been a recurrent issue in moral and political philosophy for some years, much disagreement over its moral justifiability persists among scholars. The common

Kant, International Law, and the Problem of Humanitarian Intervention

International law has one principal mechanism for settling the legality of humanitarian interventions, the United Nations Security Council's power to authorise coercion. However, this is hardly

The UN Security Council and the Question of Humanitarian Intervention in Darfur

Abstract This article explores the different moral and legal arguments used by protagonists in the debate about whether or not to conduct a humanitarian intervention in Darfur. The first section

Eight Principles for Humanitarian Intervention1

Abstract When is humanitarian intervention legitimate and how should such interventions be conducted? This article sets out eight liberal principles that underlie humanitarian intervention, some of

Humanitarian Intervention and International Law: The Moral Importance of an Intervener’s Legal Status

Abstract Although states have recently agreed that there is a universal responsibility to undertake humanitarian intervention to protect populations from egregious violations of human rights, it is

Humanitarian Intervention as Neocolonialism

This chapter elaborates the practical challenge of implementing human rights through humanitarian intervention, that is, a military intervention without the consent of the targeted state. Its

Responsibility to Protect: A Questionable Norm

This thesis examines the commitment made by world leaders in the support of military humanitarian intervention in the name of human rights. In the context of humanitarian intervention in

International Humanitarian Law and Interventions—Rwanda, 1994

International humanitarian law (IHL) applies to armed conflicts between and within states. It focuses on constraining the parties involved in such conflict to minimize human suffering, both of



Humanitarian Intervention: Which Way Forward?

  • R. Caplan
  • Political Science
    Ethics & International Affairs
  • 2000
States have long taken exception to the notion of humanitarian intervention because it threatens to undermine a bedrock principle of international order: national sovereignty. In the case of Kosovo,

The Moral Basis of Humanitarian Intervention

This article discusses the moral principles underlying the idea of humanitarian intervention. The analysis is in two parts, one historical and the other philosophical. First, the article examines

The State and Human Rights: Sovereignty Versus Humanitarian Intervention

state despite protests and objections by its neighbors, then humanitarian considerations outweigh the prohibition of intervention and justify a decision to interfere.’’ Critics often observe that

Realist objections to humanitarian intervention

The issue of humanitarian intervention attracted considerable attention after the Cold War came to an end. Many believed that new possibilities of cooperation were opening up between the major

The Internal Legitimacy of Humanitarian Intervention

This chapter addresses a remarkably neglected issue in just war theory: the internal legitimacy of humanitarian military intervention, military actions in another state undertaken with the objective

Human Rights, Humanitarian Intervention, and World Politics

International law, and the world politics that creates and sustains it, has increasingly manifested a tension between the primacy of state sovereignty and other values that would challenge that

Agency, Humanitarianism and Intervention

This article examines some of the justifications that have been proffered as to why “we” should sacrifice in the name of common humanity. The first section examines the views of two leading thinkers

Humanitarian Intervention: An Overview of the Ethical Issues

  • M. J. Smith
  • Political Science
    Ethics & International Affairs
  • 1998
The capacity to focus on the issue of humanitarian intervention represents what Joel Rosenthal has noted as the maturation of the field of ethics and international affairs. If nothing else, the

Humanitarian Intervention, Altruism, and the Limits of Casuistry

This essay argues that the ethics of humanitarian intervention cannot be readily subsumed by the ethics of just war without due attention to matters of political and moral motivation. In the modern

Reconsidering the Legality of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from Kosovo

For nearly ten years, human rights advocates tried to focus public attention on Kosovo. They issued report after report of gross and systemic human rights abuses in the troubled region. Nearly all of