‘New humanitarianism’, a disguised code for militarised interventionism

Kagu, Abubakar Bukar (2016) ‘New humanitarianism’, a disguised code for militarised interventionism. Al-Muqaddimah. (Accepted)

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The question of protecting civilians and vulnerable groups from the aggression, violation and abuse of war is a subject that has continuously resonated in the field of legal scholarship. Over the last three decades, there has been renewed approach through the idea of humanitarian intervention to protect non militant members of the society from the dangers of armed conflict. From the old idea of providing aid to vulnerable groups to that which propose the validity of Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the world has seen a shift from the orthodoxies that define most intervention of the past. The growing concept of ‘new humanitarianism’ of recent time is one that combines diplomatic and militarised interference. This growing neo liberal approach to humanitarian intervention has tremendously redefined how powerful nations have become embroiled in in the conflicts of smaller nations, often under the guise of assisting and protecting civilians and vulnerable groups caught in conflicts.
In trying the explain these interventionist trajectories, scholars have proffered a number of theories that include the ‘just war’ theory, constructivism in international relations, liberal peace building, critical security studies, etc. Most of these theoretical explanations are a reflection of the complexity in determining the rightfulness/utility or otherwise of armed intervention in the name of humanitarianism. It also becomes even more convoluted when one takes into context the legitimacy of another country or a coalition of countries using force to intervene in the internal affairs of another sovereign State; questions that touch deeply on the principles of state sovereignty under international law. It also raises questions on contemporary political situations and other geo political realities that define most of the interventions seen in the last two decades. This essay looks at the concept of new humanitarianism and the legitimacy of the proposition to emphasis on the responsibility to protect as they challenge the inherent values of international law and international relations

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Humanitarianism, Military, Security, Intervention, Law, Conflict, Legitimacy, Civilians,
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Law
Subjects: K Law
Depositing User: Abubakar Bukar Kagu
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2017 09:57
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2018 15:05
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/67060

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