Holding Humanitarianism Hostage: The Politics of Rescue [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 11 (1997)

December 4, 1997

The intervention in the former Yugoslavia is a clear example of the ways in which humanitarian intervention is often deeply complicated by political concerns. Destexhe expands upon the discussion of the humanitarian mission in Bosnia begun in " The Politics of Rescue," stating that the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, in choosing a humanitarian route rather than a political one, further enabled ethnic cleansing and prolonged the conflict in the Balkans. Destexhe concludes, in agreement with Pasic and Weiss, that a strict humanitarian approach that ignores deeper political problems will only prolong such conflicts and lead to cynicism toward future humanitarian efforts.


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