A-S 3900: Humanitarian Intervention

Course Description:   From the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, to the Rwandan genocide in 1994, to the Arab Spring in 2011, the norms governing humanitarian intervention have been subjected to intense scrutiny and debate. This discussion is complicated by the multitude of stakeholders affected, the politicization of intervention, and the wide variety of forms intervention can take—from traditional UN peacekeeping to NGOs to full-fledged military engagement. Where the just war tradition turns to cases of individual self-defense in search of  moral principles that govern national self-defense, humanitarianism finds its moral basis in other-defense. This course will explore how to apply principles of just war theory to humanitarian intervention. Using the Responsibility to Protect as our conceptual framework, we will evaluate the morality of unilateral humanitarian wars of the cold war era, UN peace keeping operations of the early 1990s, and contemporary humanitarian aid.

Course Syllabus (Spring 2018)