Wishing Thinking: In Search for a Comprehensive Understanding of Humanitarian Intervention
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Foreign diplomats spent two and half years debating what action was appropriate during the conflict of Bosnia, while disagreements continue over the legitimacy of NATO’s invasion into Kosovo. And while politicians and UN diplomats argue over the right response in present-day Syria, President al-Assad continues his systematic violence against unarmed civilians. In cases of mass violence outside of a nation’s domain, controversy over how to react routinely unfolds. As a result, humanitarian intervention is a continuously controversial topic that profusely debates questions spanning a country’s right to govern its people, to the responsibility of outsiders to protect strangers. While exploring this discussion, the MA thesis sets out to dissect the following questions: Who is the international community and how has international law evolved as a result? Why do powerful nations (predominately the US) choose to intervene and what influence does this have on the particular conflict abroad? What procedures should individual citizens interested in humanitarian aid take before hastily insisting upon foreign interference?