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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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Complicating the Moral Case of Responsibility to Protect

Complicating the Moral Case of Responsibility to Protect

Kosovo and Libya

(p.15) 1 Complicating the Moral Case of Responsibility to Protect
Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention

Stephen Zunes

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the military interventions in Kosovo and Libya (often advanced as successful humanitarian interventions), and argues that they did more harm than good. They escalated the level of killings (by regime and rebels), fanning nationalism in the first and sectarian militias in the second. The general explanations underpinning this analysis are that intervening powers are rarely neutral or impartial, and that military intervention changes the strategies of the target regime and of the rebelling parties. The chapter argues for the efficacy of strategic non-violent action internally and preventive diplomacy externally, as alternatives to military intervention. It notes the successes of non-violent movements in both case studies, and critical moments at which they could have been supported by preventive diplomacy but were not. A second theme is sensitivity to broader ramifications of military intervention for international affairs.

Keywords:   Kosovo, Libya, nationalism, impartiality, non-violent, preventive diplomacy

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