Ethics & International Affairs Volume 14 (2000): Special Section: the Meaning of Kosovo: Humanitarian Intervention: Which Way Forward? [Abstract]

Dec 4, 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, however, NATO's nineteen member states chose not only to put aside their concerns for national sovereignty in favor of humanitarian considerations, but also to act without UN authorization. This essay examines the ways in which states — European states in particular — are rethinking historic prohibitions against humanitarian intervention in the wake of the Kosovo war. It focuses on two approaches:

  • Efforts to reinterpret international law so as to demonstrate the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and
  • Efforts to build a political consensus regarding when and how states may use force for humanitarian ends.

While efforts to weaken prohibitions may succeed, thereby facilitating future interventions, resolution of the tension between legitimacy and effectiveness in defense of human rights will continue to elude the international community unless a political consensus can be achieved.

To read or purchase the full text of this article, click here.

You may also like

AUG 27, 2021 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 35.2 (Summer 2021)

The highlight of this issue is a roundtable organized by Adrian Gallagher on the responsibility to protect in a changing world order. The roundtable contains ...

Image via <a href=""></a>

OCT 7, 2019 Podcast

Making AI Work, Ethically & Responsibly, with Heather M. Roff

Heather M. Roff, senior research analyst at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab, thinks some researchers are having the wrong conversations about AI. Instead of ...

CREDIT: <a href="">Pixabay</a>

AUG 7, 2019 Podcast

AI & Human Rights: The Practical & Philosophical Dimensions, with Mathias Risse

Mathias Risse, director of Harvard Kennedy School's Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, discusses the many connections between artificial intelligence and human rights. From practical ...