Essay about Humanitarian Intervention

Essay about Humanitarian Intervention

Length: 2380 words (6.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Humanitarian intervention is a multifaceted issue that has been a topic of concern within international political and legal realms for many decades. It is often defined as
“[…] the threat or use of force across state borders by a state (or group of states) aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens, without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied” (Keohane 1).
After the prosecution of Nazis in the Nuremburg trials on the basis of “crimes against humanity” and genocide, the abuse of human rights has become a more salient issue in international society (Buchanan 136). However, when situations of human rights violations escalate to emergency levels, it becomes complicated to intervene despite the international laws condemning genocide and other large-scale human rights violations. This is due to Article 2(4) and Chapters VI and VII of the UN Charter, which essentially state that nations may not militarily intervene in the affairs of other nations (Wheeler 41). These laws make it difficult for nations to help oppressed citizens of other nations unless the human rights violations constitute a “threat to international peace and security” or unless the intervention is in self-defense or otherwise authorized by the UN Security Council (Wheeler 92).
The books Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal, and Political Dilemmas, by Robert Keohane and J.L. Holzgrefe, and Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society by Nicholas J. Wheeler contain value information and analyses on the subject of unauthorized interventions. Humanitarian Intervention is a set of essays chosen by Keohane and H...


... middle of paper ...


...eeler and the way his information backed up a single argument, I found it to be easier to follow, while Holzgrefe and Keohane’s was more informative about the breadth of viewpoints surrounding the topic.
Unauthorized humanitarian intervention is a complex issue in international society, and is one which can be analyzed in great depth and in a multitude of different ways. Looking at this issue from moral, philosophical, and political standpoints, one may form many different arguments on how to reconcile the legal issues with the moral intuition to act to help those who are oppressed. Saving Strangers, through arguing for a single viewpoint, and Humanitarian Intervention, by compiling many different opinions, both give informative and well-written summaries of one of the more complicated problems that has affected international relations for the past few decades.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

International Relations Relating to Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- In the following essay I will discuss aspects of international relations relating to humanitarian intervention and how they affect a nation’s responsibilities in the international arena. I will be drawing parallels to historical examples of intervention and to recent world events. I will inspect the classical realist notion of non-intervention and sovereignty and another newer line of thought, more adapted to the modern system. What I hope to bring forth in this paper is a clearer understanding of the situation and the responsibilities of the actors in current international relations in regard to humanitarian rights and intervention....   [tags: humanitarian intervention and international law]

Powerful Essays
1750 words (5 pages)

Essay about Humanitarian Intervention

- Humanitarian intervention is a multifaceted issue that has been a topic of concern within international political and legal realms for many decades. It is often defined as “[…] the threat or use of force across state borders by a state (or group of states) aimed at preventing or ending widespread and grave violations of the fundamental human rights of individuals other than its own citizens, without the permission of the state within whose territory force is applied” (Keohane 1). After the prosecution of Nazis in the Nuremburg trials on the basis of “crimes against humanity” and genocide, the abuse of human rights has become a more salient issue in international society (Buchanan 136)....   [tags: Human Rights, Literary Review, Wheeler]

Powerful Essays
2380 words (6.8 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- There have been large numbers of humanitarian interventions since the Second World War, both with and without United Nations authorization, that were legally justified on the basis of preventing widespread and grave violations of fundamental human rights. The dramatic events of 1999 in East Timor highlight a pressing need to reflect on the popular debate on the practice of humanitarian intervention. The East Timor case is not an ordinary example of Humanitarian Intervention, in-fact some argue not an example at all....   [tags: International Govenment ]

Powerful Essays
3753 words (10.7 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- Humanitarian intervention is use of force or other sanctions by one state or group of states against another to prevent or stop the denial of the basic human rights of that states citizens. There is no actual definition of humanitarian intervention, only a basic notion of what it entails and the outstanding question of whether the human rights violations in a sovereign state are reason enough for others to intervene. In past wars the majority of casualties were the combatants, but today’s wars have larger civilian casualty numbers....   [tags: Global Issues, Middle East]

Powerful Essays
2268 words (6.5 pages)

Essay about Humanitarian Intervention

- The key objections to humanitarian intervention include the conflict of interests with the self-interested state and sovereignty, the difficulty of internal legitimacy, the problematical Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, and the debate over legality of intervention. The issue of morality stands as an overarching issue which touches on all of these. Overall, one finds that despite a moral imperative to intervene, humanitarian intervention should not occur but is perhaps the lesser of a series of evils....   [tags: Foreign Policy]

Powerful Essays
1857 words (5.3 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- Humanitarian intervention is the act when states intervene in the affairs of another state because that state is violating the basic human rights of its civilians or because it is in the intervening state’s self interest to get involved. (Humanitarian, 2008) These interventions are not specifically aimed at violating the sovereignty of a state, but rather their purpose is to protect the basic human rights of civilians during civil wars and during crime against humanity. (Humanitarian, 2008) Realism explains that humanitarian intervention came about during the genocide in Bosnia but not in Rwanda because even though it might have been the correct moral action to take, intervention in Rwanda w...   [tags: International Politics]

Powerful Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- The issue of humanitarian intervention has become increasingly prominent in worldwide debates regarding its role in ethics and legitimacy in international relations. Uncertainty arises as to whether there are any moral obligation for humanitarian intervention and the concerning justifications of the violation of state sovereignty. In viewing the matter ethically and applying Immanuel Kant’s principle of cosmopolitan law from his 1795 essay Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Essay, humanitarian intervention can be established as a conflict between a cosmopolitan responsibility, which is to protect and promote human rights because of their universality, and an obligation to respect state soverei...   [tags: International Relations, Ethics]

Powerful Essays
1921 words (5.5 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay

- The debate of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect have been discussed in international relations discourse more seriously within the last 60 years. The major historical developments which have led to an increase in the intensity of these debates have had beneficial and detrimental effects on Earth within the last 20 years. Several factors have contributed to this including; globalization, the rise in international accountability, an increase humanitarian consciousness to prevent major atrocities from occurring, the expansion of territorial to global responsibility of the western world, and the realization of the western world that regional sovereignty no longer accoun...   [tags: Human Rights]

Powerful Essays
2052 words (5.9 pages)

Humanitarian Intervention Essay examples

- Humanitarian Intervention Hypothesis: That despite the incidents where humanitarian interventions have proved seemingly unsuccessful, they are, nonetheless, a vital tool in alleviating the human suffering that so plagues contemporary society. The post-Cold war world is one that has been riddled with conflict, suffering and war. In the face of such times, the issue of humanitarian intervention and about who, when and how it should be employed, has become hotly debated. While some critics declare this kind of intervention to be a violation of national sovereignty, others believe that relief efforts aimed at ending human suffering are perfectly justifiable....   [tags: Humanitarianism Definition Essays]

Powerful Essays
993 words (2.8 pages)

Essay on Humanitarian Intervention

- Humanitarian Intervention In a world plagued with conflict and political instability there are many manners in which the international community is prone to react. In current day the Nobel Peace Prize winning direction of Peace Making, an ideology that has been accredited to former Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, has received much time and attention. A further step beyond the latter movement has been referred to as "Peace Making". This rather new philosophy is founded on the premise of establishing peace even through forceful military presence....   [tags: Papers]

Powerful Essays
1351 words (3.9 pages)