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  • Cited by 6
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    This article has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Papamichail, Andeas and Partis-Jennings, Hannah 2016. Why common humanity? Framing the responsibility to protect as a common response. International Politics, Vol. 53, Issue. 1, p. 83.

    Piiparinen, Touko 2016. The Interventionist Turn of UN Peacekeeping: New Western Politics of Protection or Bureaucratic Mission Creep?. Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 15, Issue. 1, p. 98.

    Radice, Henry 2016. The responsibility to protect as humanitarian negotiation: A space for the ‘politics of humanity’?. International Politics, Vol. 53, Issue. 1, p. 101.

    Fiott, Daniel 2015. The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar.

    Haesebrouck, Tim 2015. The responsibility to protect doctrine – Coherent after all: A reply to Friberg-Fernros and Brommesson. International Politics, Vol. 52, Issue. 1, p. 128.

    Labonte, Melissa T. 2015. Human Rights Protection in Global Politics.


The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention in Libya


Wars and interventions bring to the fore certain ethical issues. For instance, NATO's intervention in Kosovo in 1999 raised questions about the moral import of UN Security Council authorization (given that the Council did not authorize the action), and the means employed by interveners (given NATO's use of cluster bombs and its targeting of dual-use facilities). In what follows, I consider the moral permissibility of the NATO-led intervention in Libya and suggest that this particular intervention highlights three issues for the ethics of humanitarian intervention in general. The first issue is whether standard accounts of the ethics of humanitarian intervention, which draw heavily on just war theory, can capture the prospect of mission creep. The second issue is whether epistemic difficulties in assessing the intervention's likely long-term success mean that we should reject consequentialist approaches to humanitarian intervention. The third issue concerns selectivity. I outline an often overlooked way that selectivity can be problematic for humanitarian intervention.

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Jeff McMahan , Killing in War (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2009)

Jeff McMahan , “The Ethics of Killing in War,” Ethics 114, no. 4 (2004), pp. 693733

Christopher Toner , “The Logical Structure of Just War Theory,” Journal of Ethics 14, no. 2 (2010), pp. 81102

Nien-Hê Hsieh , Alan Strudler , and David Wasserman , “The Numbers Problem,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 34, no. 3 (2006), pp. 352–72

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Ethics & International Affairs
  • ISSN: 0892-6794
  • EISSN: 1747-7093
  • URL: /core/journals/ethics-and-international-affairs
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