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Nonintervention and International Order

Nonintervention and International Order

Copyright Date: 1974
Pages: 465
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  • Book Info
    Nonintervention and International Order
    Book Description:

    Frequent instances of intervention in current world affairs have threatened the status of nonintervention as a rule of international relations. Gathering evidence from history, law, sociology, and political science, R. J. Vincent concludes that the principle of nonintervention can and must remain viable.

    The author approaches the question from several angles, seeking to discover why the principle of nonintervention has been asserted as part of the law of nations; whether states in the past and present have conducted their foreign relations according to the principle of nonintervention; and what function the principle performs in the society formed between states.

    The author examines the principle of nonintervention through examples taken from contemporary world politics, focusing on its role in the doctrine and practice of the Soviet Union, the United States, and the United Nations. He argues that, despite the erosion of the order of sovereign states, the arrival of nuclear response weapons, all-enveloping ideological conflict, and transnational relationships that diminish the significance of state frontiers, the principle of nonintervention continues to contribute to the international order.

    Originally published in 1974.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7158-2
    Subjects: Law, Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    (pp. vii-viii)
    R. J. Vincent
  4. Part One. DEFINITION

      (pp. 3-16)

      Intervention is a word used to describe an event, something which happens in international relations: it is not just an idea which crops up in speculation about them. The event might take a form as significant as the entry of one state into a violent conflict within another state or as apparently insignificant as an ill-chosen remark made by a statesman about the affairs of a foreign state. The fact that the same word is used to describe such diverse phenomena turns the focus of attention from intervention as an event to intervention as a concept, in order to decide...

  5. Part Two. The History of the Idea of Nonintervention

      (pp. 19-19)

      The chapters of this part will consider the history of the idea of nonintervention from three aspects: as a principle, a theory, and in the practice of states. The discussion of nonintervention as a principle will seek the derivation of the rule through the treatises on international law. The study of nonintervention as a theory will examine the doctrines of writers, other than international lawyers, who have urged the principle as a rule of conduct which might serve the interests of a particular state or the interest of all states in peace, or who have speculated about the conditions in...

      (pp. 20-44)

      A principle or rule has been so far understood as an imperative which makes a particular form of action or restraint obligatory for a certain class of people or institutions. Thus the principle of nonintervention is an imperative requiring states to refrain from interference in each other’s affairs. This rule, we have seen, is implied by the principle that states shall respect one another’s sovereignty.¹ And this derivation illustrates the dual function of the principle of state sovereignty—as a principle according to which authority is allocated in international relations, requiring thereby a particular pattern of behavior, and as an...

      (pp. 45-63)

      A theory of nonintervention will be understood here as a doctrine urged as a means to some particular desired end, such as lasting peace, or the security of states, or the protection of the best interests of a particular state. As such, it will encompass the views of those who, while asserting the need for states to observe the principle of nonintervention if peace between them were to be secured, argued that this was not the only condition having to be met before that end could be achieved. Cobden’s espousal of a near-absolute doctrine of nonintervention will first be examined,...

      (pp. 64-142)

      In writings on international law and in theories of foreign policy, adherence to the rule of nonintervention has been urged as right conduct for states in their relations with each other. Whether the motive of such urging is the maintenance of a rule of law between states or the advancement of the interests of a particular state, the function of the principle is one of restraint; its purpose is to prevent the state from conducting its foreign relations by a method perceived to be undesirable. This chapter will examine the extent to which the principle can be said to have...

  6. Part Three. The Principle of Nonintervention in Contemporary World Politics

      (pp. 145-187)

      It is to the ideas of the French Revolution that a Soviet international lawyer has recently looked for the origin of the principle of noninterference, tracing its course thereafter through the recognition and subsequent abuse of the principle by the European and American “bourgeois” states in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, to the Soviet initiative on behalf of the inadmissibility of intervention in the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1965.¹ This chapter will trace the course of the nonintervention principle in Soviet doctrine and practice, from its uneasy position in a revolutionary perspective on international relations, through the...

      (pp. 188-232)

      By the end of the Second World War, the United States had repudiated isolationism, a repudiation symbolized by the much-vaunted conversion of Senator Vandenberg. In August 1943 he had been the motive force in the drawing-up of the Mackinac Charter which pledged Republicans to “responsible participation by the United States in postwar cooperative organization among sovereign nations to prevent military aggression and to attain permanent peace with organized justice in a free world.”¹ In his speech of January 10, 1945, Vandenberg announced that he did not believe that “any nation hereafter can immunize itself by its own exclusive action.”² The...

      (pp. 233-278)

      Whether as a rule which had to be taken into account in the framing of foreign policy, as a malleable political slogan which was thought to advance the purposes of foreign policy, as a statement of a preferred pattern of conduct in international relations, or, as is most likely, a mixture of each, nonintervention was an important doctrine for both the United States and the Soviet Union. If the debates in the General Assembly of the United Nations and the resolutions passed by that body are any guide, it was no less important for the remainder of the states of...

  7. Part Four. International Society and the Principle of Noninterention

      (pp. 281-326)

      The history of the principle of nonintervention at the United Nations revealed it to be a norm which most states, at least in their public utterances, held to be fundamental to harmonious international relations. But the deliberations and resolutions of the United Nations testified more to the perceived importance of the rule than to its content and scope. This chapter will attempt to fix the position of the principle of nonintervention, if indeed it has one, in the body of rules making up current international law. The chapter will have three sections. The first will examine the inheritance of traditional...

      (pp. 327-390)

      The foregoing chapters have been mainly concerned with doctrines of nonintervention held by individual states or by groups of states, though the theme of a principle of nonintervention as a legal rule applying to all states, independent of the peculiarities of national interpretation, has been traced through them. It remains to invert this procedure: to consider the principle in terms of the function it fulfills in the international system, the contribution (if any) it makes to international order, rather than the part it plays in the foreign policy of states. Clearly, the two procedures are not mutually exclusive. The part...

    (pp. 391-400)
    (pp. 401-420)
  10. INDEX
    (pp. 421-457)
  11. Back Matter
    (pp. 458-464)