Humanitarianism and military force : humanitarian intervention and international society
This thesis examines the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention in the modern states system. Humanitarian intervention is defined as the use of military force across state boundaries, against the wishes of the target government, to protect the people from intolerable misrule and grave abuses of human rights. The aim of this thesis is to examine the problem of humanitarian intervention from the perspective of international society. This thesis is divided into two parts. Part One defines the concept, considers the historical and intellectual milieu in which the idea emerged and evolved, and examines the different grounds upon which states have justified a right of intervention. Part Two considers the implications for international society. International society exists when states have shared rules, values, and a mutual concern for order. Three primary arguments are made in Part Two: (1) Humanitarian intervention can co-exist with the rules of state sovereignty, non-intervention, and limitations on the use of force; (2) Humanitarian intervention has performed the historic function of expanding the values of international society; (3) Practised under the right circumstances, it can help promote international order rather than subvert it. As this thesis demonstrates, a more in-depth understanding of how past theorists and practitioners of humanitarian intervention have approached the problem can enrich the current discussion.