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Authorising humanitarian intervention: a five-point defence of existing multilateral procedures

  • Stefano Recchia (a1)

Even scholars who support multilateralism in principle frequently question the value of securing approval from existing multilateral bodies for humanitarian intervention. The United Nations (UN) and regional organisations such as NATO, the argument goes, are far from democratic; furthermore, multilateralism is often a recipe for doing nothing; therefore, unauthorised intervention should be permissible in circumstances of ‘humanitarian necessity’. This article maintains that although today’s multilateral organisations and related procedures for authorising armed intervention may be suboptimal, they have significant output legitimacy. First, existing authorisation procedures reduce the risk of destabilising conflict spirals among powerful states. Second, they diminish the likelihood that humanitarianism will be used as a pretext. Third, they reduce epistemic problems concerning the identification of a just cause for intervention and thus the risk of accidental abuse. Fourth, they minimise the ‘moral hazard’ of humanitarian intervention. Finally, compliance with multilateral procedures is increasingly required for successful peacebuilding. This leads me to conclude that humanitarian warfare should always be authorised by the UN or regional multilateral organisations.

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*Correspondence to: Dr Stefano Recchia, Department of Politics and International Studies, Alison Richard Building, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, CB3 9DT. Author’s email:
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1 Farer Tom J., ‘A paradigm of legitimate intervention’, in Lori Fisler-Damrosch (ed.), Enforcing Restraint: Collective Intervention in Internal Conflicts (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 1993), p. 327 ; Wheeler Nicholas, Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 298299 ; Franck Thomas, ‘Legality and legitimacy in humanitarian intervention’, in Terry Nardin and Melissa Williams (eds), Humanitarian Intervention (New York: New York University Press, 2006); Tesón Fernando R., ‘The vexing problem of authority in humanitarian intervention: a proposal’, Wisconsin International Law Journal, 24:3 (2006), pp. 761772 ; Pattison James, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: Who Should Intervene? (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), pp. 188189 , 196; Hurd Ian, ‘Bomb Syria, even if it is illegal’, New York Times (27 August 2013).

2 Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, p. 74.

3 Claude Inis, ‘Collective legitimization as a political function of the United Nations’, International Organization, 20:3 (1966), p. 372 , emphasis added.

4 Walzer Michael, ‘The politics of rescue’, Social Research, 62:1 (1995), pp. 5366 . Nevertheless, Walzer offers at best qualified support for multilateralism, which, he believes, ‘is no guarantee of anything’ (p. 63).

5 Franck Thomas, The Power of Legitimacy among Nations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990); Welsh Jennifer, ‘Authorizing humanitarian intervention’, in Richard M. Price and Mark W. Zacher (eds), The United Nations and Global Security (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 183186 .

6 Wedgwood Ruth, ‘Unilateral action in a multilateral world’, in Stewart Patrick and Shepard Forman (eds), Multilateralism and U.S. Foreign Policy (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 2002), p. 168 .

7 Clark Ian, Legitimacy in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005), p. 193 .

8 Keohane Robert O., ‘The contingent legitimacy of multilateralism’, in Edward Newman, Ramesh Thakur, and John Tirman (eds), Multilateralism under Challenge (Tokyo: United Nations University Press, 2006), pp. 6061 .

9 Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, p. 5. See also Keohane, ‘The contingent legitimacy of multilateralism’; Tesón, ‘The vexing problem of authority’.

10 See fn. 1.

11 Buchanan Allen, Justice, Legitimacy, and Self-Determination: Moral Foundations for International Law (New York: Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 450468 .

12 Tesón, ‘The vexing problem of authority’, pp. 771–2.

13 Archibugi Daniele, ‘Cosmopolitan guidelines for humanitarian intervention’, Alternatives, 29:1 (2004), pp. 121 ; Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, pp. 233–4.

14 Franck, ‘Legality and legitimacy’; Lu Catherine, ‘Whose principles? Whose institutions? Legitimacy challenges for “humanitarian intervention”’, in Nardin and Williams (eds), Humanitarian Intervention ; Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, pp. 188–9.

15 Finnemore Martha, The Purpose of Intervention: Changing Beliefs about the Use of Force (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2003), p. 53 .

16 Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, pp. 101–10.

17 Anderson Mary B., Do No Harm: How Aid Can Support Peace – or War (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1999), esp. ch. 4. For a useful discussion of the tensions inherent in traditional humanitarian intervention, see also Kuperman Alan J., ‘Humanitarian intervention’, in Michael Goodhart (ed.), Human Rights: Politics and Practice (2nd edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 291293 .

18 Orend Brian, ‘Justice after war’, Ethics & International Affairs, 16:1 (2002), pp. 4356 ; Williams Robert E., Jr, and Caldwell Dan, ‘Jus post bellum: Just war theory and the principles of just peace’, International Studies Perspectives, 7:4 (2006), pp. 309320 .

19 See International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to Protect (Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 2001), p. 39 .

20 Doyle Michael W. and Sambanis Nicholas, Making War and Building Peace: United Nations Peace Operations (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2006), pp. 2030 ; Joshi Madhav and Mason T. David, ‘Civil war settlements, size of governing coalition, and durability of peace in post-civil war states’, International Interactions, 37:4 (2011), pp. 388413 . See also Recchia Stefano, ‘Just and unjust postwar reconstruction: How much external interference can be justified?’, Ethics & International Affairs, 23:2 (2009), pp. 165187 .

21 Walzer Michael, ‘The aftermath of war: Reflections on jus post bellum ’, in Eric Patterson (ed.), Ethics Beyond War’s End (Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2012), p. 38 .

22 As Michael Blake puts it, ‘we should not think ourselves licensed to intervene, unless we have both the means and the will to rebuild’. See Blake , ‘The costs of war: justice, liability, and the Pottery Barn rule’, in Don E. Scheid (ed.), The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), p. 134 . See also Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, p. 74.

23 The Security Council may give its retrospective approval to the exercise of self defence, or it may refrain from doing so and may insist on the cessation of the unilateral action. See Dinstein Yoram, War, Aggression, and Self-Defence (5th edn, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012), pp. 234237 .

24 Ruggie John, ‘Multilateralism: the anatomy of an institution’, International Organization, 46:3 (1992), p. 571 .

25 Kreps Sarah, ‘Multilateral military interventions: Theory and practice’, Political Science Quarterly, 123:4 (2008), pp. 573603 .

26 Slater Jerome, ‘The limits of legitimization in international organizations: the organization of American states and the Dominican crisis’, International Organization, 23:1 (1969), pp. 4872 .

27 The OAS condemned the Panama intervention in a 20:1 vote. See Goshko John M. and Isikoff Michael, ‘OAS votes to censure U.S. for intervention’, Washington Post (23 December 1989).

28 See, for example, Risse-Kappen Thomas, Cooperation Among Democracies: The European Influence on U.S. Foreign Policy (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1997).

29 On the Balkans, see Burg Steven L., ‘Coercive diplomacy in the Balkans: the U.S. use of force in Bosnia and Kosovo’, in Robert J. Art and Patrick M. Cronin (eds), The United States and Coercive Diplomacy (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, 2003). On the Iraq War, see Gordon Philip H. and Shapiro Jeremy, Allies at War: America, Europe, and the Crisis over Iraq (New York: McGraw-Hill, 2004), pp. 136141 .

30 Grossman, author interview, Washington, DC, 13 January 2011.

31 See, for example, Vincent R. J., Nonintervention and International Order (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1974); and Bull Hedley (ed.), Intervention in World Politics (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1984).

32 Bull, Intervention in World Politics, p. 195. See also Jackson Robert, The Global Covenant: Human Conduct in a World of States (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000), pp. 278293 .

33 Keohane Robert O. and Martin Lisa L., ‘The promise of institutionalist theory’, International Security, 20:1 (1995), pp. 3951 .

34 Jervis Robert, Perception and Misperception in International Politics (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976), pp. 6277 .

35 On the importance of multilateral approval for signalling benign intentions, see Thompson Alexander, ‘Coercion through IOs: the Security Council and the logic of information transmission’, International Organization, 60:1 (2006), pp. 134 .

36 Cameron David, Obama Barack, and Sarkozy Nicolas, ‘The bombing continues until Gaddafi goes’, The Times (London) (15 April 2011).

37 Stewart Catrina, ‘Russia accuses NATO of “expanding” UN Libya resolution’, The Independent (4 July 2011). For a useful discussion, see also Henriksen Dag and Larssen Ann Katrin (eds), Political Rationale and International Consequences of the War in Libya (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), ch. 4.

38 Ayoob Mohammed, ‘Humanitarian intervention and state sovereignty’, International Journal of Human Rights, 6:1 (2002), p. 92 .

39 For similar arguments, which, however, do not explore the causal mechanism in detail, see Farer, ‘Legitimate intervention’, pp. 324–6; and Doyle Michael W., ‘The ethics of multilateral intervention’, Theoria, 109 (April 2006), pp. 4142 .

40 Terry Nardin explains that ‘the “cause” that makes a given action “just” is its end or purpose – defending the innocent from violence, for example’. Cf. Nardin, ‘Introduction’, in Nardin and Williams (eds), Humanitarian Intervention, p. 10.

41 Ibid., pp. 9–11.

42 See, for example, Walzer, Politics of Rescue, pp. 59–60; Stein Mark S., ‘Unauthorized humanitarian intervention’, Social Philosophy and Policy, 21:1 (2004), p. 31 ; and Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, pp. 159–60.

43 Allison Roy, Russia, the West, and Military Intervention (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 155158 .

44 Murphy Sean, Humanitarian Intervention: the United Nations in an Evolving World Order (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996), pp. 108111 .

45 Cortell Andrew P. and Davis James W., ‘How do international institutions matter? The domestic impact of international norms and rules’, International Studies Quarterly, 40:4 (1996), pp. 451487 ; Krause Joachim, ‘Multilateralism: Behind European views’, Washington Quarterly, 27:2 (2004), pp. 4359 .

46 Tago Atsushi, ‘Determinants of multilateralism in U.S. use of force’, Journal of Peace Research, 42:5 (2005), pp. 585604 ; Recchia Stefano, ‘Why seek international organisation approval under unipolarity? Averting issue linkage vs. appeasing Congress’, International Relations, 30:1 (2016), pp. 78101 .

47 Thompson, ‘Coercion through IOs’. See also Voeten Erik, ‘The political origins of the UN Security Council’s ability to legitimize the use of force’, International Organization, 59:3 (2005), pp. 527557 .

48 On accidental abuse in the context of humanitarian intervention, see Pattison, Humanitarian Intervention, p. 58.

49 Habermas Jürgen, The Divided West (London: Polity, 2006), p. 184 . See also Dobos Ned, ‘Is U.N. Security Council authorisation for armed humanitarian intervention morally necessary?’, Philosophia, 38:3 (2010), pp. 499515 .

50 Jervis Robert, ‘Bridges, barriers, and gaps: Research and policy’, Political Psychology, 29:4 (2008), pp. 578579 .

51 Janis Irving L., Groupthink (rev. edn, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1982). See also Badie Dina, ‘Groupthink, Iraq, and the War on Terror: Explaining US policy shift toward Iraq’, Foreign Policy Analysis, 6:4 (2010), pp. 277296 .

52 Jervis, ‘Bridges, barriers, and gaps’, pp. 580–1.

53 See Welsh Jennifer and Zaum Dominik, ‘Legitimation and the UN Security Council’, in D. Zaum (ed.), Legitimating International Organizations (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013), pp. 7680 .

54 Burg and Shoup, The War in Bosnia–Herzegovina, pp. 307–59. The Sarajevo market bombing of 28 August 1995 remained shrouded in controversy: several authors surmise that the Bosnian Muslims may have engineered the shelling of their own ethnic kin, precisely to trigger an international intervention against Serb forces. See, for example, Beloff Nora, Yugoslavia: An Avoidable War (London: New European Publications, 1997), p. 112 ; and Parenti Michael, To Kill a Nation: the Attack on Yugoslavia (London: Verso, 2002), pp. 7576 . In 2007, however, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) concluded after examining all the evidence that Bosnian Serb units were almost certainly responsible for the market shelling, thus validating the initial assessment of UN ballistic experts. See ICTY, ‘PROSECUTOR v. DRAGOMIR MILOSEVIC’, Case No. IT-98–29/1-T, 12 December 2007, p. 241, para. 724, and pp. 220–41 more generally, available at: {} accessed 29 July 2016.

55 Bellamy Alex J., Kosovo and International Society (London: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 114116 . Some authors have questioned whether the killing of a few dozen ethnic Albanians in the village of Racak in early 1999, which provided a major impetus for intervention, should count as a ‘civilian massacre’, as it seems likely that several of the individuals killed on that occasion were rebel fighters. See, for example, Johnstone Diana, Fool’s Crusade: Yugoslavia, NATO and Western Delusions (London: Pluto, 2002), pp. 241243 ; Wolfgram Mark A., ‘Democracy and propaganda: NATO’s War in Kosovo’, European Journal of Communication, 23:2 (2008), pp. 153171 . However, the weight of the evidence subsequently assembled by independent international authorities suggests that at Racak, as well as more generally during the run-up to the Kosovo intervention, Serb security forces failed to adequately discriminate between rebel forces and innocent civilians, which, while often difficult, remains a key marker of legitimate counterinsurgency campaigns. ICTY, ‘PROSECUTOR v. MILAN MILUTINOVIĆ et al.’, Case No. IT-05–87-T, 26 February 2009, vol. 1, pp. 324–48, available at: {} accessed 29 July 2016.

56 Halberstam David, War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton, and the Generals (New York: Touchstone, 2001), pp. 196197 ; Recchia Stefano, Reassuring the Reluctant Warriors: U.S. Civil-Military Relations and Multilateral Intervention (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2015), pp. 116118 .

57 Albright Madeleine, Madam Secretary (New York: Miramax, 2003), p. 177 . As early as April 1993, the NGO Helsinki Watch (precursor to Human Rights Watch) reported that ‘Bosnian Muslim and Croatian troops have forced the displacement of Serbs in southwestern and central Bosnia’ and ‘Muslim forces have summarily executed civilians and disarmed combatants in Eastern Bosnia’. See Watch Helsinki, War Crimes in Bosnia-Hercegovina, Volume II (New York, 1993), pp. 12 , 14.

58 Albright Madeleine, ‘Options for Bosnia’, memorandum for the National Security Adviser (14 April 1993), available at: {} accessed 29 July 2016.

59 Recchia, Reassuring the Reluctant Warriors, pp. 159–61. See also Daalder Ivo and O’Hanlon Michael, Winning Ugly: NATO’s War to Save Kosovo (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press, 2000), p. 30 .

60 Clinton writes that he ‘didn’t want to divide the NATO alliance by unilaterally bombing Serb military positions’. See Clinton , My Life (New York: Knopf, 2004), p. 513 . See also Recchia, Reluctant Warriors, pp. 120–38 (on Bosnia) and pp. 162–77 (on Kosovo).

61 Kirkpatrick David and Fahim Kareem, ‘Qaddafi warns of assault on Benghazi as U.N. vote nears’, New York Times (17 March 2011).

62 Kuperman Alan J., ‘A model humanitarian intervention? Reassessing NATO’s Libya campaign’, International Security, 38:1 (2011), p. 110 .

63 Kirkpatrick and Fahim, ‘Qaddafi warns of assault on Benghazi’.

64 Riddell Kelly and Shapiro Jeffrey Scott, ‘Hillary Clinton’s “WMD” moment: U.S. intelligence saw false narrative in Libya’, Washington Times (29 January 2015).

65 Fitzgerald David and Ryan David, Obama, U.S. Foreign Policy and the Dilemmas of Intervention (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), pp. 99104 .

66 Henriksen and Larssen, Rationale and Consequences of War in Libya, chs 2–6.

67 See, for example, Waxman Matthew C., Intervention to Stop Genocide and Mass Atrocities: International Norms and U.S. Policy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations, 2009).

68 Kuperman Alan J., ‘The moral hazard of humanitarian intervention: Lessons from the Balkans’, International Studies Quarterly, 52:1 (2008), p. 51 . See also Rowlands Dane and Carment David, ‘Moral hazard and conflict intervention’, in Murray Wolfson (ed.), The Political Economy of War and Peace (The Hague: Kluwer, 1998); and Crawford Timothy W., ‘Moral hazard, intervention and internal war: a conceptual analysis’, Ethnopolitics, 4:2 (2005), pp. 175193 .

69 Belloni Roberto, ‘The tragedy of Darfur and the limits of the “Responsibility to Protect”,’ Ethnopolitics, 5:4 (2006), pp. 327346 ; Belloni Roberto, ‘The trouble with humanitarianism’, Review of International Studies, 33:2 (2007), pp. 459461 .

70 See also Kydd Andrew H. and Straus Scott, ‘The road to hell? Third-party intervention to prevent atrocities’, American Journal of Political Science, 57:3 (2013), pp. 673684 .

71 Western Jon, ‘Illusions of moral hazard: a conceptual and empirical critique’, Ethnopolitics, 4:2 (2005), pp. 225236 ; Bellamy Alex J. and Williams Paul D., ‘On the limits of moral hazard: the “Responsibility to Protect”, armed conflict and mass atrocities’, European Journal of International Relations, 18:3 (2011), pp. 539571 .

72 Bellamy and Williams (‘On the limits of moral hazard’, pp. 549–50) find that rebellions have generally been shorter since the rise of humanitarian intervention norms after 1990, which they claim disproves the argument that a higher likelihood of intervention prolongs rebel violence. Observed changes in the duration of rebellions, however, may be due simply to the end of Cold War proxy wars and related superpower funding. The authors’ inference would be warranted only if their findings held up after limiting the sample to post-Cold War cases in which humanitarian intervention was in fact seriously considered.

73 US National Security Council, ‘Deputies Committee Meeting on Kosovo’, Summary of Conclusions (26 October 1998), available at: {} accessed 29 July 2016.

74 Petritsch Wolfgang and Pichler Robert, Kosovo-Kosova: Der Lange Weg zum Frieden (Klagenfurt: Wieser, 2004), p. 148 . See also Gibbs David, First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia (Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009), ch. 7.

75 Belloni, ‘Tragedy of Darfur’, p. 226.

76 Kuperman, ‘Model humanitarian intervention?’, pp. 110–13.

77 Ibid., p. 124. See also Larison Daniel, ‘Libyan ceasefire and the moral hazard of intervention’, The American Conservative (18 March 2011).

78 Kuperman Alan J., ‘Mitigating the moral hazard of humanitarian intervention: Lessons from economics’, Global Governance, 14:2 (2008), p. 228 .

79 Ibid., pp. 229–31.

80 See UN General Assembly, ‘World Summit Outcome’, Sixtieth Session, A/RES/60/1 (24 October 2005), § 139.

81 For a similar argument, see Doyle Michael W., The Question of Intervention (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015), p. 23 .

82 Auerswald David P. and Cowhey Peter F., ‘Ballotbox diplomacy: the war powers resolution and the use of force’, International Studies Quarterly, 41:3 (1997), pp. 505528 .

83 Busby Joshua, Monten Jonathan, Tama Jordan, and Inboden William, ‘Congress is already post-partisan’, Foreign Affairs (28 January 2013), available at: {} accessed 27 July 2016; Recchia, ‘Why seek international organisation approval?’

84 See, for example, UK House of Commons, ‘Working with International Organisations’, Select Committee on Defence, Seventh Report, Part 3 (18 March 2010), available at: {} accessed 30 July 2016; and Sorenson David S. and Wood Pia Christina (eds), The Politics of Peacekeeping in the Post-cold War Era (London: Frank Cass, 2005).

85 Kreps Sarah, ‘Elite consensus as a determinant of alliance cohesion: Why public opinion hardly matters for NATO-led operations in Afghanistan’, Foreign Policy Analysis, 6:3 (2010), pp. 191215 ; Recchia, ‘Why seek international organisation approval?’, p. 83.

86 Wedgwood, ‘Unilateral action in a multilateral world’, p. 173; Thompson, ‘Coercion through IOs’.

87 Claude, ‘Collective legitimization’; Finnemore, The Purpose of Intervention, pp. 80–2.

88 Richter Paul, ‘U.S. enlists more countries in Iraq, at taxpayers’ expense’, Los Angeles Times (22 June 2007); Blanchard Christopher and Dale Catherine Marie, ‘Iraq: Foreign contributions to stabilization and reconstruction’, CRS Report for Congress (Washington, DC: 26 December 2007).

89 Christoff Joseph, ‘Stabilizing and rebuilding Iraq: Coalition support and international donor commitments’, Testimony before the House Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight (Washington, DC: 9 May 2007); Blanchard and Dale, ‘Iraq: Foreign contributions’, pp. 11–18.

90 Zeleny Jeff and Hulse Carl, ‘Senate supports a pullout date in Iraq War bill’, New York Times (28 March 2007); Norton-Taylor Richard, ‘Out by June: UK plans Iraq withdrawal’, The Guardian (10 December 2008).

91 Woehrel Steven, ‘Future of the Balkans and U.S. policy concerns’, CRS Report for Congress (Washington, DC: 13 May 2009); Cimbala Stephen J. and Forster Peter K., Multinational Military Intervention: NATO Policy, Strategy and Burden Sharing (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2010).

92 Talbott Strobe, The Great Experiment (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2008), p. 302 .

93 Paris Roland, ‘The “Responsibility to Protect” and the structural problems of preventive humanitarian intervention’, International Peacekeeping, 21:5 (2014), p. 585 . See also Kuperman, ‘Model humanitarian intervention?’, pp. 125–8.

94 Barack Obama, interview with Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times (8 August 2014).

95 Stein, ‘Unauthorized humanitarian intervention’, p. 33. See also Franck, ‘Legality and legitimacy’, pp. 143–4; Tesón, ‘The vexing problem of authority’, p. 766.

96 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, pp. 100–5 and 13–36. Finnemore (Purpose of Intervention, p. 73) argues that ‘strong humanitarian claims were certainly credible’ in these two cases. On the Uganda intervention, see also Tesón Fernando R., Humanitarian Intervention: an Inquiry into Law and Morality (2nd edn, Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: Transnational Publishers, 1997), pp. 179195 .

97 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, p. 81.

98 Ibid., p. 114.

99 Chandler David, ‘Foreign interventions in Cambodia, 1806–2003’, in William J. Lahneman (ed.), Military Intervention: Cases in Context for the Twenty-First Century (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004).

100 On casualty figures, see, respectively, Global Security, ‘The War in the Bush’, available at: {} accessed 27 July 2016; and Amnesty International, ‘Human Rights in Uganda’ (June 1978), p. 13, available at: {} accessed 28 July 2016.

101 Wheeler, Saving Strangers, p. 299.

102 On Darfur, see Hamilton Rebecca, Fighting for Darfur: Public Action and the Struggle to Stop Genocide (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011), ch. 6. On Syria, see Fitzgerald and Ryan, Obama and the Dilemmas of Intervention, ch. 6.

103 Goldberg Jeffrey, ‘The Obama doctrine’, The Atlantic, 317:3 (April 2016), p. 73 .

104 On incentives to Russia, see Baker James A., The Politics of Diplomacy: Revolution, War & Peace, 1989–1992 (New York: Putnam’s Sons, 1995), pp. 294295 and 287–313 more generally. On China, see Crossley Noële, Multilateralism versus Unilateralism: the Relevance of the United Nations in a Unipolar World (New York: Peter Lang, 2008), p. 73 .

105 For a discussion, see Recchia Stefano, ‘Did Chirac say “non”? Revisiting UN diplomacy on Iraq, 2002–03’, Political Science Quarterly, 130:4 (2015), pp. 625654 .

106 See, for example, Tesón, ‘The vexing problem of authority’, p. 766.

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