An Argument On Humanitarian Intervention

1498 Words6 Pages
The liberal paradigm contrasts the realist’s view of the state being the main actor in the international sphere, as liberalists argue that humans have ‘fundamental natural rights to liberty consisting in the right to do whatever they think fit to preserve themselves’. Although Liberals accept that humans and states both have the desire to increase their own personal interest and power, they also strongly believe in international cooperation, which can be made possible through organisations such as the United Nations. Humanitarian intervention is evidently better understood through the lenses of the liberal paradigm due to the moral obligation humans have to prevent mass killings and human rights violations resulting in humanitarian intervention, with often the outcome being a peaceful solution. Humanitarian intervention from a utilitarian perspective is similar to a liberal viewpoint due to utilitarian’s believing that intervening in a country would result in more lives being saved than if states did not intervene. Professor Terry Nardin suggests how the lesson of Rwanda revealed that it is ‘our moral duty to act when institutions fail’ therefore, Nardin here is reiterating the liberal paradigm’s view of the importance of human rights in regard to intervention. The Rwandan genocide – one of the largest genocides of the 1990s - and civil war of 1994 indicates the failure of realist methods in making moral decisions on humanitarian intervention. The Rwandan genocide saw 800,000 Rwandans killed within the space of 100 days; ethnic tensions between the minority Tutsis and majority Hutus, as well as the death of the Rwandan president resulted in the mass murders of the Tutsi population by the Hutus. The international community’s refu... ... middle of paper ... ...tervention often resulting in failure and the loss of countless lives, Iraq, Kosovo and Afghanistan being evidence of this. Liberalism on the other hand, and the belief in states being able to reach peaceful resolutions allows emphasis on moralism by many states. The evidence in humanitarian intervention being better understood through liberal methods is shown through the use of Responsibility to Protect in intervention resulting in success whereas, intervening for national and self-interests for example in Kosovo results in the losses of lives, and the failure in bringing peace. Therefore, it is apparent through the failures of realist methods in humanitarian interventions such as Iraq, Rwanda and Kosovo and the successes of the use of liberalist methods, that humanitarian intervention is evidently better understood through the lenses of the liberal paradigm.
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