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All Necessary Measures

All Necessary Measures: The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention

Carrie Booth Walling
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 328
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  • Book Info
    All Necessary Measures
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-0-8122-0847-4
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. Chapter 1 Constructing Humanitarian Intervention
    (pp. 1-32)

    On the evening of 17 March 2011, members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) met to discuss the deteriorating security situation in Libya. It was the fourth Security Council meeting on Libya in a month following the outbreak of violence between Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s regime and the opponents to his rule. What started out in mid-February as peaceful protests against arbitrary arrest and extrajudicial killing by the government quickly deteriorated into an armed rebellion to overthrow Qadhafi and remove his regime from power. In the face of early rebel advances in the western region of the country, Qadhafi’s son...

  4. Chapter 2 The Emergence of Human Rights Discourse in the Security Council: Domestic Repression in Iraq, 1990–1992
    (pp. 33-61)

    Between March and August 1988, the government of Iraq launched a series of lethal poison gas attacks against Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. Western media covered the effects of the chemical weapons attack on the town of Halabja: “Ghastly scenes of bodies strewn along Halabja’s streets, families locked in an embrace of death, lifeless children, doll-like with blackened mouths, eyes, and nails, and the upended carcasses of domestic animals.”¹ The international human rights organization Middle East Watch characterized the Iraqi attacks against its Kurdish population as genocide.² The U.S. State Department publicly condemned Iraq’s use of chemical weapons, and the...

  5. Chapter 3 State Collapse in Somalia and the Emergence of Security Council Humanitarian Intervention
    (pp. 62-88)

    When Somalia made it onto the United Nations Security Council agenda in January 1992, the council members were newly optimistic about their ability to react promptly and effectively in concert with one another to threats to international peace and security. Just the year before, the council had reversed Iraq’s occupation of Kuwait and stopped the Iraqi regime from violating the human rights of its population. As a result, the meaning of state sovereignty, the relationship between human rights norms and international security, and beliefs about the legitimate purpose of military force were evolving. In 1992, however, the post–Cold War...

  6. Chapter 4 From Nonintervention to Humanitarian Intervention: Contested Stories About Sovereignty and Victimhood in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    (pp. 89-118)

    The war in Bosnia-Herzegovina acquired special significance for members of the United Nations Security Council. It represented the emergence of a new type of problem at the close of the twentieth century: political turmoil within states accompanied by exclusionist ideologies leading to gross and widespread violations of human rights. Indeed, the agenda of the UNSC in the 1990s was characterized by intrastate conflicts with interstate dimensions and regional security implications. Yet the situation in Bosnia garnered more attention from the Security Council than others because it destabilized core values of the United Nations, threatened regional security, and brought into sharp...

  7. Chapter 5 The Perpetrator State and Security Council Inaction: The Case of Rwanda
    (pp. 119-150)

    When the United Nations Security Council became involved in Rwanda’s civil war in March 1993, the spirit of post–Cold War optimism that had characterized the council in the aftermath of the Gulf War had been replaced by a deepening concern over the health and reputation of the United Nations. The UN had taken on more peacekeeping operations in the five years between 1989 and 1993 than it had in the previous forty.¹ The Security Council’s early success in reversing Iraqi aggression against Kuwait and the emergence of council intervention into civil wars had led to high expectations in the...

  8. Chapter 6 International Law, Human Rights, and State Sovereignty: The Security Council Response to Killings in Kosovo
    (pp. 151-184)

    The decade of the 1990s ended as it began for the United Nations Security Council, with systematic human rights violations in the territory of the former Yugoslavia threatening to destabilize the entire Balkan region. The war in Bosnia in the first half of the 1990s had its start in Kosovo, a province of Serbia that lost its constitutional autonomy to growing Serbian nationalism in 1989, which set off federation-wide fears of a “Greater Serbia Project”—a nationalist elite attempt to exert Serbian control over other nations and territories. By 1998, Kosovo’s ethnic Albanians and Serb authorities were engaged in a...

  9. Chapter 7 Complex Conflicts and Obstacles to Rescue in Darfur, Sudan
    (pp. 185-212)

    When the conflict in Darfur, Sudan, caught the attention of the United Nations Security Council in early 2004, members of the United Nations were debating whether the international community has a responsibility to protect people from gross violations of their fundamental human rights when their state is unable or unwilling to do so. The idea of the international responsibility to protect was crafted in part as a response to the council’s failure to stop the 1994 Rwandan genocide during which approximately eight hundred thousand people were slaughtered in one hundred days. The height of military conflict in Darfur coincided with...

  10. Chapter 8 The Responsibility to Protect, Individual Criminal Accountability, and Humanitarian Intervention in Libya
    (pp. 213-242)

    On 15 February 2011, the wave of protests that had been sweeping the Middle East since December 2010 came to Libya. As in other Arab states, popular protests began peacefully but were immediately met with a violent and repressive response by the ruling regime. Unlike protests in Tunisia and Egypt, however, the situation quickly escalated into a full-scale war between the opposition, which armed itself and fought for the removal of the Muammar Qadhafi regime, and the ruling authorities, who used overwhelming force against civilians and the armed opposition alike. The escalating violence in Libya quickly captured the attention of...

  11. Chapter 9 Causal Stories, Human Rights, and the Evolution of Sovereignty
    (pp. 243-268)

    At the start of the twenty-first century, human rights are increasingly linked to international peace and security, and normative ideas about human rights, sovereign authority, and state responsibilities to their populations shape United Nations Security Council decision making about humanitarian intervention as much as material and geostrategic considerations. The inclusion of human rights considerations in UNSC decision making since 1991 has fundamentally changed the meaning of sovereignty over a period of two decades. Initially, the council perceived the protection of human rights norms to conflict with Westphalian conceptions of state sovereignty. In the case of Iraq in 1991, for example,...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 269-302)
  13. Index
    (pp. 303-306)
  14. Acknowledgments
    (pp. 307-308)