International Relations is a vibrant field of significant growth and change. This book guides students through the complexities of over 40 central concepts and core theories, relating them at all times to contemporary issues and debates.

Each concept is divided into five sections to allow rapid familiarization with the topic and provide signposts for further exploration:

Core questions to address; Definition; Theoretical perspectives; Empirical problems; Core reading and useful websites

In addition the major theories are covered by six-part entries that give a 360 degree view of the strengths, weaknesses, applications and methodologies of each one:

An introduction to the core questions; Overview and background; Methodologies; Empirical application; Central criticism; Core reading and useful websites

Clear and highly readable, Key Concepts in International Relations is an essential guide for students on politics and international relations courses.

Humanitarian Intervention

Humanitarian intervention

1. Core Questions Addressed

  • What are the problems in defining humanitarian intervention?
  • When can humanitarian intervention be considered as just?
  • Do humanitarian interventions work?

2. Definitions

The idea of humanitarian intervention, which originates in the ‘just-war’ tradition (→ International Ethics), is almost as old as the modern state system. Humanitarian intervention is understood as ‘the use of military force on the territory of a state without its consent with the goal of protecting innocent victims of large-scale atrocities’ (Thakur 2007: 388). In contrast to (→) peacekeeping, humanitarian intervention has thus been called ‘an uninvited breach of sovereignty’ (Bell 2007). It became a topic of increased significance in international public law and international relations thinking after the Second World War, triggered by mass atrocities and the genocide of the ...

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