Ethics & International Affairs Volume 10 (1996): Articles: Intervention and Collective Self-Determination [Abstract]

Dec 4, 1996

Intervention often violates both respect for state sovereignty and the right to self-determination. McMahan focuses on the latter ethical dimension rather than the former political and legal one, although his claims have important implications for issues of state sovereignty. He challenges the common assumption that respect for self-determination requires an almost exceptionless doctrine of nonintervention by first defining the notions of "intervention" and "self-determination," and then analyzing Walzer's doctrine of nonintervention. The recognition that there are different ideals of self-determination results in a less rigid and more permissive doctrine of nonintervention.

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