This chapter argues that military intervention to support the goals of global justice can be defensible in the extreme cases in which people's abilities to meet their most basic needs and protect their basic freedoms are not adequately attended to by the governments of those citizens. Reconceptualizing sovereignty as responsibility allows us to circumvent problems thought to attend such proposals, for instance, that intervention would interfere unjustly with the sovereignty of nations. Protections against abuse provide the assurances we need and constitute an important part of the justification for legitimate interventions. The findings of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty discussed in this chapter provide reason for optimism about future possibilities for acting decisively as humanitarian crises unfold, especially as the core idea of a responsibility to protect now enjoys widespread endorsement.
Keywords: humanitarian intervention, military intervention, sovereignty, sovereignty as responsibility, reconceptualizing sovereignty, abuse, International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, humanitarian crises, responsibility to protect
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