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Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies (5th edn)

Alan Collins
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p. 33422. Humanitarian Interventionlocked

p. 33422. Humanitarian Interventionlocked

  • Alex J. Bellamy
  •  and Stephen McLoughlin


This chapter examines the implications of humanitarian intervention for international security. It considers the debate between those who argue that the protection of civilians from genocide and mass atrocities is far more important than the principle of non-intervention in certain circumstances and those who oppose this proposition. This has become a particular problem in the post-Cold War world where the commission of atrocities in places like Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur prompted calls for international society to step in to protect the victims with military force if necessary. Humanitarian intervention causes problems for international security by potentially weakening the rules governing the use of force in world politics. The chapter first considers the case against humanitarian intervention before discussing the principle known as ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P).

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