Paper Title

[1.1] Reconciling Sovereignty and Humanitarian Intervention in Contemporary International Society

Presenter Information

Colin Rylan O'ConnorFollow

Location

IB 1014

Start Date

January 2020

End Date

January 2020

Disciplines

International Law | International Relations | Philosophy | Political Science

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

This article seeks to reconcile the notion of Humanitarian Intervention with that of sovereignty within international legal, moral and political theory. The current global order is built upon the framework of positive international law that emerged following the 2nd World War and entrenched the right of states to sovereign equality and non-intervention. However, in the wake of state-perpetuated mass atrocities and instances of both intervention and non-intervention in the late-20th century, immense attention has been given to the seeming contradiction between the legal norm of sovereignty and the moral imperative to prevent mass atrocities and human suffering. By employing an English School of IR (ES) perspective, this article argues that sovereign states form an international society and frames humanitarian intervention though this normative orientation. In the context of international society, it becomes clear that sovereignty is a privilege that requires some basic level of qualification. Thus, implying the constructivist notion that states are social constructions that developed towards meeting some elementary goals of society. In turn, sovereignty becomes dependent on the fulfillment of said elementary goals, and should a state fail in this duty, it loses its right to sovereignty and, thus, humanitarian intervention becomes legal and legitimate. Key Terms: Humanitarian Intervention; Sovereignty; International Society; English School of IR; Non-intervention

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Jan 18th, 1:00 PM Jan 18th, 2:15 PM

[1.1] Reconciling Sovereignty and Humanitarian Intervention in Contemporary International Society

IB 1014

This article seeks to reconcile the notion of Humanitarian Intervention with that of sovereignty within international legal, moral and political theory. The current global order is built upon the framework of positive international law that emerged following the 2nd World War and entrenched the right of states to sovereign equality and non-intervention. However, in the wake of state-perpetuated mass atrocities and instances of both intervention and non-intervention in the late-20th century, immense attention has been given to the seeming contradiction between the legal norm of sovereignty and the moral imperative to prevent mass atrocities and human suffering. By employing an English School of IR (ES) perspective, this article argues that sovereign states form an international society and frames humanitarian intervention though this normative orientation. In the context of international society, it becomes clear that sovereignty is a privilege that requires some basic level of qualification. Thus, implying the constructivist notion that states are social constructions that developed towards meeting some elementary goals of society. In turn, sovereignty becomes dependent on the fulfillment of said elementary goals, and should a state fail in this duty, it loses its right to sovereignty and, thus, humanitarian intervention becomes legal and legitimate. Key Terms: Humanitarian Intervention; Sovereignty; International Society; English School of IR; Non-intervention