This issue features a special roundtable on Libya and humanitarian intervention with contributions from Alex Bellamy, Simon Chesterman, James Pattison, Thomas Weiss, and Jennifer Welsh; feature articles by Ian Hurd on the ambiguous legality of humanitarian intervention, Joy Gordon on smart sanctions, and Daniel Brunstetter and Megan Braun on drones and just war; a response to Richard Miller's "The Ethics of America's Afghan War" by David Rodin; a review essay by Christian Barry and Nicholas Southwood on the nature of human rights; and book reviews.
Roundtable: Libya, RtoP, and Humanitarian Intervention
Three central questions lie at the heart of this roundtable. First, what are the implications of Libya for the RtoP doctrine? Second, how should we judge the intervention in Libya morally and politically? Third, what is the likelihood of future action under RtoP?
Civilian Protection in Libya: Putting Coercion and Controversy Back into RtoP [Abstract]
While it is unclear how the crisis in Libya will affect the fortunes and trajectory of the principle of the responsibility to protect, Libya will significantly shape the parameters within which the debate over what RtoP entails, and how it might be operationalized, will occur.
Libya and the Responsibility to Protect: The Exception and the Norm [Abstract]
Where it was once a term of art employed by a handful of likeminded countries, activists, and scholars, but regarded with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, RtoP has become a commonly accepted frame of reference for preventing and responding to mass atrocities.
The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention in Libya [Abstract]
The moral permissibility of the intervention in Libya largely turns on two fairly tricky assessments: whether the situation was sufficiently serious at the time the intervention was launched and what the predominant purposes of the intervention were.
"Leading from Behind": The Responsibility to Protect, the Obama Doctrine, and Humanitarian Intervention after Libya [Abstract]
The legal significance of Libya is minimal, though the international response does show how the politics of humanitarian intervention has shifted to the point where it is harder to do nothing in the face of atrocities.
RtoP Alive and Well after Libya [Abstract]
If the Libyan intervention goes well, it will put teeth in the fledgling RtoP doctrine. Yet, if it goes badly, critics will redouble their opposition, and future decisions will be made more difficult. Libya suggests that we can say no more Holocausts, Cambodias, and Rwandas--and occasionally mean it.
Is Humanitarian Intervention Legal? The Rule of Law in an Incoherent World [Abstract]
The legality of humanitarian intervention is essentially indeterminate. No amount of debate over the law or recent cases will resolve its status; it is both legal and illegal at the same time.
Smart Sanctions Revisited [Abstract]
There are considerable difficulties with targeted sanctions. Some of these difficulties may be resolved as these measures continue to be refined. Others are rooted in fundamental conflicts between competing interests or intractable logistical challenges.
The Implications of Drones on the Just War Tradition [Abstract]
The aim of this article is to explore how the brief history of drone warfare thus far affects and potentially alters the parameters of ad bellum and in bello just war principles.
Ending War [Full Text]
In "The Ethics of America's Afghan War," Richard W. Miller argues that reflecting on whether and how to end the war in Afghanistan exposes serious deficiencies in just war theory. I agree, though for different reasons than those canvassed by Professor Miller.
What Is Special About Human Rights? [Abstract]
Despite the widespread influence of human rights discourse, it remains unclear precisely what human rights are. We argue for an account of human rights that is practice-independent, substantive, and pluralist.
Book Reviews [Full Text]
"Why Nations Fight" by Richard Ned Lebow [Full Text]
According to Lebow, four generic motives have historically led to war: fear, interest, status, and revenge--and all of them are still likely to lead to future conflict.
"Equality and Tradition: Questions of Value in Moral and Political Theory" by Samuel Scheffler [Full Text]
This book is an important contribution to contemporary political philosophy, even though many of the essays have been published elsewhere. It is a bonus that it is also a pleasure to read.
"Globalizing Justice: The Ethics of Poverty and Power" by Richard W. Miller [Full Text]
In "Globalizing Justice," Miller argues that although we have a limited duty to respond to "neediness as such," the major source of our "vast, unmet global responsibility" to help the global poor is a duty not to take advantage of their deprivation when pursuing our own goals.