What prompts the United Nations Security Council to engage
forcefully in some crises at high risk for genocide and ethnic
cleansing but not others? In All Necessary Measures,
Carrie Booth Walling identifies several systematic patterns in the
stories that council members tell about conflicts and the policy
solutions that result from them. Drawing on qualitative comparative
case studies spanning two decades, including situations where the
council has intervened to stop mass killing (Somalia,
Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Sierra Leone) as well as situations where
it has not (Rwanda, Kosovo, and Sudan), Walling posits that the
arguments council members make about the cause and character of
conflict as well as the source of sovereign authority in target
states have the potential to enable or constrain the use of
military force in defense of human rights.
At a moment when constructivist scholars in international relations
are pushing beyond empirical claims for the value of norms and
toward critical analysis of such norms, All Necessary
Measures establishes discourse's real-world explanatory power.
From her comparative chronology, Walling demonstrates that
humanitarian intervention becomes possible when the majority of
Security Council members come to a shared understanding of the
conflict, perpetrators, and victims-and probable when the Council
understands state sovereignty as complementary to human rights
norms. By illuminating the relationship between national interests
and the core values of Security Council members and how it
influences decision-making, All Necessary Measures
suggests when and where the Security Council is likely to intervene
in the future.
Subjects: Political Science
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