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Challenges for Humanitarian InterventionEthical Demand and Political Reality$
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C. A. J. Coady, Ned Dobos, and Sagar Sanyal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812852.001.0001

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Morality, Reality, and Humanitarian Intervention

Morality, Reality, and Humanitarian Intervention

An Introduction to the Debate

Chapter:
(p.1) Morality, Reality, and Humanitarian Intervention
Source:
Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention
Author(s):

C. A. J. Coady

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198812852.003.0001

There are two profound points of departure for discussions of the moral evaluation of humanitarian intervention and its partial echo in international law, the Responsibility to Protect. The first is the distressingly massive damage sometimes inflicted on people by their own governments (or other politically powerful and unhindered agents), and the second concerns the appalling disasters and ravages of war. The first cries out to outsiders for action to prevent or discontinue the horror (which may itself involve forms of warfare, such as civil war), but the second cautions against those forms of intervention or protection that themselves threaten to replace the horror with something as or even more damaging. The tension between these two instincts has been a significant issue in many violent conflicts in very different parts of the world in the last part of the twentieth century and into the present day, and, of course, has earlier historical precedents....

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