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Politics, practice, and reality of military involvement in Humanitarian Intervention & Disaster Relief What should we do, and what are the limits of ambition.

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Presentation on theme: "Politics, practice, and reality of military involvement in Humanitarian Intervention & Disaster Relief What should we do, and what are the limits of ambition."— Presentation transcript:

1 Politics, practice, and reality of military involvement in Humanitarian Intervention & Disaster Relief What should we do, and what are the limits of ambition ? ***** Prof. Dr. Dr.h.c.mult. Reinhard Meyers, WWU Münster

2 Lebenslauf – Kurzfassung Reinhard Meyers, Jahrgang 1947, studierte Politikwissenschaft, Anglistik, und Geschichte an der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität 1966 – 1970 mit dem Abschluß Magister Artium. Forschungsstipendiat der Wiener Library, London, an der Graduate School of Contemporary European Studies, University of Reading 1970 – 1972 mit dem Abschluß Master of Philosophy. Wissenschaftlicher Assistent bei Hans-Adolf Jacobsen und Karl- Dietrich Bracher am Seminar für Politikwissenschaft der Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität 1972 – Promotion zum Dr.phil. 1974; Habilitation im Fach Politikwissenschaft 1986; seit 1987 Professor für Internationale Politik und Außenpolitik an der Westfälischen Wilhelms - Universität.

3 Die Forschungsinteressen galten ursprünglich der Geschichte der internationalen Beziehungen und der Sicherheitspolitik im 20. Jahrhundert; daneben trat aber schon vor der Habilitation die Wissenschaftsgeschichte der Lehre von den Internationalen Beziehungen sowie deren Epistemologie, Methodologie und Theorie. Seit den achtziger Jahren wird dieser Schwerpunkt ergänzt durch Arbeiten zur Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, seit den neunziger Jahren auch zur Europapolitik. Seit 1991 mehrfach Prodekan und Dekan des Fachbereichs Sozial- wissenschaften der Westfälischen Wilhelms-Universität, Oktober 1997 Ehrendoktor der Fakultät für Europastudien der Babes-Bolyai Universität Klausenburg; Mai 2007 Ehrendoktor der Universität Novi Sad. Mitgründer und von Mitherausgeber der Zeitschrift für Internationale Beziehungen. Programmbeauftragter für die internationalen Doppeldiplomstudiengänge mit dem IEP Lille, der BBU Klausenburg (RO) und der Universiteit Twente (NL) 1997 – Hobbies: Industriearchäologie des Transportwesens, italienische Küche

4 This file can be downloaded from my website  There you can also find further material to accompany our seminars on International Theory and International Politics  Lost in the maze ??? Send to

5 Structure ►Why theory in the analysis of I.R. ►Consequences of different theories ►From Humantarian Intervention to the Responsibility to Protect ►Open Questions

6 Premiss I Our knowledge of reality is once removed from reality. Social, political – and also academic or scientific – behavior cannot be understood as an immediate reflex reaction in an actual situation. Rather, it is formed by the perception of a real situation and by the interpretation, i.e. the image, we have of a particular situation – independent of whether the actual situation is in reality formed in the same way as we see and interpret it (Thomas Theorem).

7 Premiss II Our knowledge of reality is always theory-laden. Theory is "the net which we throw out in order to catch the world – to ratio- nalize, explain, and dominate it.“ Different theories = different nets = different realities Karl Popper. Logik der Forschung, 1935: p.26 (The Logic of Scientific Discovery, London: Hutchinson, 1959)

8 Grand TheoryActorMilieuStructural Principle Realism: Hobbes Nation State World of states as an- archic state of nature Vertical segmentation, unlimited zero- sum game for power, influence, ressources English School or Rationalism: Grotius ) World of states as legally constituted society Vertical Segmentation, zero-sum game regulated by norm and agreement Idealism: Kant Individual World society as society of individuals and their associations Universalistic constitution Grand Theories of International Relations

9 The Billiard-Ball-Model of international Politics Attracting forces Repellent forces

10 Cobweb model of international Relations

11 Two Most Different Accounts of International Politics RealismIdealism GoalsSurvival Actors’ typical behavior Increase/maximize power to ensure own survival Follow the national interest Promote social learning through: Institutions Ideas & Education Rational Enlightenment What forms state behavior ? Self-help, deterrence, Balance of Power politics because No world government Cooperation amongst states unreliable International society as cooperation of free association of individuals Idea of human progress = result of progress of forces of production Logic of internat. politics Conflictual, zero-sum game Security Dilemma & Arms Races Cooperative, win-win- situations

12 Consequences of different theories for the discussion of our subject… what should we do ? what are the limits of our ambitions ? Realism Rationalism Idealism Political International Responsibility Expediency, legal to National appropriateness protect - R2P interest

13 Consensus: what do we talk about ? H.I. defined as „military intervention in a state, without the approval of its authorities, and with the purpose of preventing wide-spread suffering or death among the inhabitants“ (Adam Roberts 1993) ► use of military force, exclusion of non- forcible action ► absence of the target state‘s permission (incl. situations of state failure & state collapse) ► aim to help non-nationals ► agency question (self-help principle vs. UN umbrella) still open

14 Consequences … if you are a Realist…(I) International humanitarian intervention poses no akward questions to political decision- makers. Within a rationally calculated framework of national interests and political expediency, intervention can be regarded as one instrument in a whole battery of means from gentle persuasion to outright warfare. Reference back to the „ethics of responsibility“ – Verantwortungsethik (Max Weber)

15 Ethics of responsibility vs. Ethics of conviction/principle Problem: establish a relationship between the strength of your convictions/principles and the consequences/costs of your actions according to convictions/principles Ethics of responsibility = optimization of principles and consequences of action Ethics of principle = maximization of principles without regard to cost/conse- quences of principled action

16 Consequences …if you are a Realist (II) What has to be assured in H.I. is ►a logically cogent definition of aims, ►a clear formulation of a maximizing/ optimizing/satisfying means – ends relationship, ►a clear calculation of hardware, manpower, and financial ressources needed in order to fulfill specific aims, ►a realization of the availability of such ressources, and ► a communicable entry – stay - exit – strategy. (legal) form follows (political) function

17 Historically speaking… The Swedes reputedly entered the 30 Years‘ War for religious & humanitarian reasons – yet by 1648 they also had defeated Denmark & became a Baltic Great Power… The Powers intervened around the Mediterranean and on the Balkans at various times during the 19th century – in Greece (1827), Sicily (1856), Syria (1860), Krete (1866), Bosnia (1875), Bulgaria (1877), Mace- donia (1887) – and the US in Cuba 1898 – ostensibly for humanitarian and democratic reasons, but nearly always also against the Ottoman Empire… Indian intervention in East Pakistan/Bangladesh Tanzanian intervention in Uganda Vietnamese intervention in Kampuchea

18 Consequences…if you are a Rationalist… Early discussion of the concept backtraced to 16th & 17th Century Internat. Law classics – from Vitoria to Grotius De Jure Belli ac Pacis 1625 states that states are entitled to exercise the right to H.I. „ves- ted in human society“ on behalf of oppres- sed individuals & to end human suffering ► Grotian Tradition in International Affairs allows full-scale use of force to end human suffering (political) function follows (legal) form

19 Legally speaking… Slow change from doctrine of intervention to doctrine of non-intervention in the 19th century and beyond ► Monroe Doctrine 1823 ►Calvo- & Drago- Doctrines 1868 & 1902 ►2nd Hague Convention 1907 ►Briand-Kellog-Pact 1928 ►UN Charter Art. 2(4) & Art. 2(7); authorization of H.I. by Security Council under Ch. VII in response to emergencies that constitute a threat to peace & security

20 H.I. - a post- Cold War dead end ? tension between the principle of state sovereignty and evolving international norms relating to human rights and the use of force Proponents: imperative action in the face of human rights abuses, over the rights of state sovereignty Opponents: often viewed as a pretext for military intervention devoid of legal sanction, selectively deployed and achieving only ambiguous ends – cf. In particular Third World criticism, e.g.non-recognition by group of 77: H.I. a neo-imperialistic tool !

21 Consequences… if you are an Idealist … or, respectively, a Liberal Internationalist, or, respectively, a Liberal Institutionalist… Problem: States, particularly in the Third World, have long seen intervention as a threat to their sovereignty. Humanitarian intervention is regarded as no different [cf.Myanmar May 2008]. Interventions have to be about regime change if they are to have any chance of accomplishing their stated goal.

22 The United Nations, formed in the aftermath of World War II to promote peace and stability, recognize the importance of sovereignty… Cf. Art. 2(7) "Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state." The principle does not rule out the application of enforcement measures in case of a threat to peace, a breach of peace, or acts of aggression – cf. Ch. VII. The Genocide Convention of 1948 also overrode the nonintervention principle to lay down the commitment of the world community to prevent and punish – its application however a Cold War problem… same as the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights & the 1966 conventions on civil & political, and economic, social, and cultural rights… Rwanda 1994 and Srebrenica 1995 highlight the complexities of international responses to crimes against humanity.

23 The dialectic parallel… Along with the emergence of non-intervention as a universal norm, a UN-initiated parallel development was in conflict with this principle: the development of human rights as a global issue. Article 1 of the Charter emphasises promoting respect for human rights and justice as one of the fundamental missions of the organisation. Article 55 states that the UN shall promote and respect the human rights and basic freedoms, and subsequent UN initiatives have strengthened these claims. Humanitarian intervention, as the most assertive form of promoting human rights at a global level, was and is clearly incompatible with norms such as non- intervention and state sovereignty.

24 Solution: change of perspective In 2000, the Canadian government and several other actors announced the establishment of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) – task: to address the challenge of the international community's responsibility to act in the face of the gravest of human rights violations while respecting the sovereignty of states. "If the international community is to respond to this challenge, the whole debate must be turned on its head. The issue must be reframed not as an argument about the 'right to intervene' but about the 'responsibility to protect.'" (Gareth Evans, Foreign Affairs, 2002) Responsibilty instead of control…

25 Background to conceptual change The end of the Cold War The massive rise of intrastate conflict, civil war, and internal violence in the 1990s The development of weak & failing states in the 4th world NATO intervention in the Kosovo 1999 – legitimate, but not legal – without UN S.C. mandate (fear of Russian veto) The development of the concept of human security stressing limitis to sovereignty

26 R2P much more than military intervention – a whole continuum The responsibility to prevent : to address both the root causes and direct causes of internal conflict and other man-made crises putting populations at risk; The responsibility to react : to respond to situations of com- pelling human need with appropriate measures, which may include coercive measures like sanctions, international prosecution, and, in extreme cases, military intervention; The responsibility to rebuild : to provide, particularly after a military intervention, full assistance with recovery, reconstruction, and reconciliation, addressing the causes of the harm the intervention was designed to halt or avert.

27 …but the main point still is… …the question of military action remains, for better or worse, the most prominent and controversial one in the debate. Whatever else it encompasses, the re- sponsibility to protect implies above all else a responsibility to react - where necessary, coercively, and in extreme cases, with military coercion - to situations of compelling need for human protection. (Evans 2006, 709)

28 R2P – the question of legitimacy ICISS identified five criteria of legitimacy to be applied by the Security Council to any intervention decision: (1) Just Cause: Is there “serious and irreparable harm occurring to human beings, or imminently likely to occur, of the following kind: A. Large-scale loss of life, actual or apprehended, with genocidal intent or not, which is the product either of deliberate state action or state neglect, inability to act, or a failed-state situation; or B. Large-scale ethnic cleansing, actual or apprehen- ded, whether carried out by killing, forced expulsion, acts of terror, or rape.”

29 R2P legitimacy (2) (2) Right Intention: Is the primary purpose of the proposed military action to halt or avert human suffering, whatever other motives may be in play? (3) Last Resort: Has every non-military option for the prevention or peaceful resolution of the crisis been explored, and are there reasonable grounds for believing lesser measures will not succeed? (4) Proportional Means: Is the scale, duration, and intensity of the planned military action the minimum necessary to secure the defined human protection objective ?

30 R2P legitimacy (3) (5) Reasonable Prospects: Is there a reaso- nable chance of the military action being successful in meeting the threat in question, and are the consequences of action not likely to be worse than the consequences of in- action? Problem: These criteria answer the legitimacy question, but not the legality one – what if H.I. is regarded as legi- timate, but not consented to by the Security Council ?

31 R2P – a continuing story… Report by the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges, and Change, December 2004 [ A more secure world: Our shared responsibility] Resolution by the World Summit, Sept. 2005: „ Each individual State has the responsibility to protect its populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. This re- sponsibility entails the prevention of such crimes, including their incitement, through appropriate and necessary means. We accept that responsibility and will act in accordance with it…“ R2P accepted into customary international law ? ?

32 A funny thing happened on the way to the forum… R2P – resurgence of the classical Just War doctrine in modern guise ?? If that is indeed the case, will it spell evil for R2P‘s acceptance In the non-Christian world ?

33 Just War Concept War ius ad bellum ius in bello ** iustus finis ** causa iusta rules of ** legitima auctoritas engage- Judged by Politics ment

34 Just War criteria I Just cause –The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations." Comparative justice –While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other.. Legitimate authority –Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war.

35 Just War criteria II Right intention –Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not. Probability of success –Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success; Last resort –Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions. Proportionality –The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms.

36 Open problems… political Have humanitarian interventions to be about regime change if they are to have any chance of accomplishing their stated goal ?? Should the international community develop, parallel to R2P doctrine, the concept of an obligation to accept help ?? Would it be advisable to regionalize the production of security and make the regions – under the general umbrella of the UN – primarily responsible for good humanitarian governance ??

37 Open problems …technical ► centralization or decentralization of the provision of humanitarian inter- vention/assistance ? ► a humanitarian assistance general staff for the United Nations ? ► and finally „Wer soll dat bezahlen, wer hätt dat bestellt, wer hätt esu viell pinke pinke, wer hätt esu viell jeld“ (Willy Ostermann)

38 Thanx for listening


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