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Roundtable on humanitarian intervention after 9/11: What, exactly, is the problem to which the 'five-part test' is the solution?

By Chris Brown


Tom Farer opens the roundtable by outlining a five-part test for legitimate humanitarian intervention and questioning the utility of the term ‘cosmopolitan’ in this context. Five responses are offered. Daniele Archibugi highlights the problem of legitimate authority for intervention and offers a separate four-stage process which he believes contributes to institutionalizing cosmopolitanism. Chris Brown questions the value of creating a set of criteria to help policymakers balance the competing moral intuitions surrounding humanitarian intervention. Neta Crawford problematizes the threshold for interventions and argues for a reappraisal of transitional administrations and the idea of global interconnectedness generally. Thomas Weiss defends cosmopolitan force and cautions that the real problem is not to be found in the lack of guidelines but instead in the lack of political will to motivate humanitarian interventions, though he warns against the increasing use of cosmopolitan arguments as a cover for pre-emptive warfare. After examining the role of motives and the ‘spike test’ in Farer’s criteria, Nicholas Wheeler emphasizes the central legitimating role of the UN Security Council in humanitarian intervention. The roundtable concludes with a set of responses by Farer to these arguments. His theme is that the chronic violation of human rights requires a reconception of the national interest and international systems of cooperation; this goal is something that 9/11 might have inadvertently encouraged by bringing together humanitarianism and national security more explicitly than hitherto

Topics: JZ International relations, JX International law
Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd
Year: 2005
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0047117805052814
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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