Is a Cosmopolitan Approach to Humanitarian Intervention feasible within the current International Order

Projektarbeit, 2017

56 Seiten


Table of Contents


The Current State of Humanitarian Intervention

The Necessity of a Cosmopolitan Approach to Humanitarian Intervention

Dissertation Structure

1. Chapter 1 - Foundational Basis
1.1. Introduction
1.2. Historical Context: The Development of Humanitarian Intervention
1.3. Cosmopolitan Theoretical Basis
1.4. Humanitarian Intervention, Communitarianism and Cosmopolitanism
1.5. Thin Cosmopolitanism
1.6. Conclusion

2. Chapter 2 - Ethical
2.1. Introduction
2.2. When? – Threshold
2.3. Who? – The Interveners
2.4. How? – Executing an Intervention
2.5. Conclusion

3. Chapter 3 - Institutional
3.1. Introduction
3.2. Law
3.3. A Global Cosmopolitan Intervention Force
3.4. A Regional Intervention Force
3.5. Conclusion



Humanitarian intervention is an issue at the centre of international relations and is shrouded in uncertainty. The logic supporting humanitarian intervention is clear in that it aims to save lives and end conflict. Yet, many questions remain as to what is the correct approach to humanitarian intervention.

This dissertation aims to clarify these questions through exploring a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention. Drawing on extensive research, a thin cosmopolitan approach is promoted as the most feasible within the current international order. This approach is developed through an exploration of ethical cosmopolitanism which addresses such questions as when to intervene, who may intervene and how to execute the intervention. A cosmopolitan approach also requires institutional change but the more radical and traditional ideas that cosmopolitanism is associated with such as the creation of a world government or a world army clash with the contemporary international order of states. For this reason, a regional humanitarian intervention force alongside a thin cosmopolitan ethical basis capable of functioning within the current international order will be proposed.

Ultimately, having utilized the framework of the contemporary international order it is concluded that a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention is feasible within the current international order and would not only significantly improve the effectiveness of humanitarian intervention but would also benefit efforts to secure international peace.


As a concept that aims to create peace through the waging of war, humanitarian intervention is naturally controversial and complicated. Within the current fundamentally state-centric international system there is no clear approach to humanitarian intervention as not all states accept the legitimacy of the concept, with most opponents citing concerns regarding issues of sovereignty. The ‘why’ of humanitarian intervention is rather self-explanatory in that it aims to save lives and prevent atrocities, however questions like who intervenes, what form does the intervention take, when and where should states intervene are yet to be answered clearly. In its aim to save individuals from abuses committed by their own governments via the violation of state borders, humanitarian intervention is also somewhat characteristically cosmopolitan in that it supports the fundamental cosmopolitan belief that human beings are part of one global community and not to be solely defined by their state or other communities. This dissertation aims to develop a clear and effective approach to humanitarian intervention that is capable of functioning within the current international order through the theoretical basis of cosmopolitanism. To develop as inclusive an approach as cosmopolitanism affords, or even just a clearer approach to humanitarian intervention generally, would not only benefit the international order but also humanity. Yet, the international order remains fundamentally state-centric and humanitarian intervention as a concept is currently at a low point.

The Current State of Humanitarian Intervention

At the time of writing, there are more than forty active conflicts across the globe, compared to zero humanitarian interventions as defined by this dissertation (IRIN, 2017; Council on Foreign Relations, 2017). The most recent example of a humanitarian intervention is the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya which marked the first intervention in over ten years and the first real test of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (R2P) which effectively promoted a new understanding of sovereignty as implying the responsibility of a government to protect its people (ICISS, 2001: XI). Whereas some commended Libya as a ‘model intervention’ and ‘almost a textbook illustration justifying R2P principles’, others like Kuperman (2013), have condemned the intervention as a ‘model failure’ that was motivated by misleading rebel propaganda and unjustly assisted the rebels by morphing from humanitarian intervention to regime change (Daalder & Stavridis, 2012; Thakur, 2013). This latter view was shared by emerging powers, namely Russia, China, India and Brazil, who all chose to abstain from the vote to authorise intervention and supported the claim that NATO overstepped the mark by aiding regime change (Scrutton & Buckley, 2011). Certainly, the case for humanitarian intervention was not assisted by the determined attempts of the permanent five members of the UNSC, the wider UN and NATO to avoid deploying R2P language when justifying intervention in Libya (Murray, 2013: 227). The division within the international order regarding whether humanitarian intervention in Libya was a success consequently resulted in the emergence of a discourse as to whether R2P, and by extension humanitarian intervention, was dead or alive in international relations (Brockmeier et. al, 2015: 113). The price of this uncertainty is currently being fully felt by the Syrian people.

The lack of effective intervention in the Syrian civil war serves to emphasise the importance of humanitarian intervention in preventing the escalation of conflicts. Failure to intervene in Syria has resulted in the conflict evolving in to a proxy war between numerous states (including the US and Russia), approximately 6.1 million internally displaced people, 4.8 million seeking refuge abroad and, as of mid-2016, a death toll of half a million (HRW, 2017). The conflict has seen many chances for effective intervention come and go, with the most apparent being the infamous US failure to intervene despite Bashar al-Assad crossing the ‘red line’ which Obama had drawn by using chemical weapons against his own people in 2013. Any military action which has been taken by intervening states, including Russia, the US, Britain, France and Turkey, within the context of the Syrian civil war has been primarily in the form of airstrikes against rebels and the Islamic State (ISIS). According to non-governmental monitoring groups US airstrikes in the campaign against ISIS have killed nearly 4,000 civilians since the bombing’s inception in 2014. However, the US claim a much lower number of at least 484 civilians, even with the rate of civilian deaths accelerating since President Trump came to office (Zenko, 2017). Yet the only military action in Syria that has suggested some humanitarian motive has been President Trump’s strikes against Syrian airfields in response to the use of chemical weapons by al-Assad four years after he crossed the red line. This not only highlights an unhealthy and unsustainable reliance upon the US to take humanitarian action, it also highlights how humanitarian intervention seems to have become synonymous with airstrikes and long range bombing. Most importantly, the Syrian conflict serves to emphasise the lack of direction and the empty shell that the concept of humanitarian intervention currently is.

The Necessity of a Cosmopolitan Approach to Humanitarian Intervention

The end of the Cold War led to a resurgence of cosmopolitan ideals in the 1990s. There was great optimism that end of the Cold War marked ‘the end of history as such: that is, the end-point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalisation of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government’ (Fukuyama, 1989: 4). Of course, this did not mark the end of history or ideological evolution. Despite the ending of the global struggle between communism and capitalism and the softening of the traditional political divide between left and right, a new ideological battle has emerged in the political divide between nationalism and globalism (Applebaum, 2017; Harari, 2016; Ip, 2017; Merry, 2016). The increasing dichotomy between nationalism and globalisation has resulted in a surge of nationalism across liberal states from Japan to Europe and was readily apparent in the recent American and French elections, with Trump and Le Pen both running on a nationalist message to put their countries first, whilst their respective opponents Clinton and Macron favoured a more international outlook (Vox, 2017). Still, in a globalized world where nationalism is being used as a blunt weapon to combat the effects of globalisation it is no longer the case that individual citizens have little to lose by aggressively prioritizing their own national community. This has been evidenced by Britain’s exit from the EU, as although the UK leaving has weakened the EU and estimates on the impact of ‘Brexit’ have proven to be ‘overly pessimistic’, Britain is looking to an uncertain future away from Europe as they sacrifice benefits such as the free movement of peoples and the economic benefits of integration into the world’s largest market in exchange for increased political sovereignty (LSE Centre for Economic Performance, 2016; Saeed, 2017). It is unlikely that nationalism is capable of winding back the effects of globalisation, as Petriglieri (2016: 5) highlights ‘there is neither an undo button for globalisation, nor a wall high enough to keep it at bay’. Global problems like climate change or the global refugee crisis cannot be addressed by nationalism and require global solutions driven by cosmopolitan ideals to have any chance of being solved (Harari, 2014; Harari, 2016).

The global refugee crisis is a direct result of conflicts and state persecution of peoples in countries like Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Myanmar (Shetty, 2016). A solution to this problem is the prevention or forceful ceasing of conflicts by the international community through humanitarian intervention on the simple logic that stopping these conflicts prevents problems like a global refugee crisis of the scale we are now witnessing. But there is no such force to conduct interventions and to prevent civil conflicts escalating into global problems. A common analogy used in support of humanitarian intervention is that of a fire brigade rescuing neighbours from a fire. However, as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (2004) said, the UN is ‘the only fire brigade in the world that has to wait for the fire to break out before it can acquire a fire engine’. Indeed, since the aftermath of the horrors of the Rwandan genocide, when enthusiasm for humanitarian intervention was at its peak, the UN took an average of 46 days to deploy peacekeepers and 13 months to fully staff rapid deployment missions (Kraus et. al, 2008: 7). This simply is not good enough. These statistics and Annan’s statement underline the importance of cementing humanitarian intervention as an essential role of the international community and promotes the cosmopolitan logic of creating a cosmopolitan military force for purposes of conducting humanitarian interventions.

Dissertation Structure

This dissertation aims to demonstrate that a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention is feasible within the current international order, whilst advocating for the establishment of regional humanitarian intervention forces. In doing so it is primarily a theoretical exploration, and thus an empirical research methodology will not be used. Although, in keeping with how the issue of humanitarian intervention has been approached by key academics in the field such as Walzer (2000 [1977]), Weiss (2007) and Bellamy (2009), illustrative examples will be used throughout to reason through the theory. The dissertation is divided in to three chapters:

Chapter one addresses the necessary foundational basis of a feasible cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention as outlined in chapters two and three. It highlights the historical development of humanitarian intervention to give context to the growth of humanitarian intervention as a viable concept in international relations before developing the theoretical basis of the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention, whilst also addressing some of the key literature.

Chapter two outlines the ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention. This chapter addresses the moral limitations of interventions and the ethical requirements for an intervention to qualify as legitimately cosmopolitan.

Chapter three examines the institutional aspect of a cosmopolitan approach, discussing the law on humanitarian intervention and the potentiality of a global cosmopolitan force, before concluding that within the current international framework a regional force is the most effective cosmopolitan force.

It is important to note that traditionally ethical and institutional cosmopolitan positions are mostly treated as distinctly separate approaches. The key difference between the two forms is that the ethical position sees cosmopolitanism as morality to govern the actions of groups and individuals, whilst the institutional position contends that cosmopolitanism should be embodied in institutions, laws and the fundamental rules of world order (Shapcott, 2010). Yet, Pogge (1992: 50) acknowledges the compatibility and potential for combination of ethical and institutional approaches, using as an example Rawls’ (1971: 114-115) assertion of a natural duty to promote just institutions and his advocacy of other non-institutional natural duties, such as duties to avoid injury and cruelty. For the purposes of this dissertation, ethical and institutional cosmopolitanism are used as complimentary under the reasoning that ethical as well as institutional changes must be made to sustain and facilitate an overarching feasible cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention.

Chapter One Foundational Basis

1.1 Introduction

Understanding the history and theory behind both humanitarian intervention and cosmopolitanism is an integral part of developing a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention which would be feasible within the current international order. The historical development of humanitarian intervention affords an insight into those interventions that have been deemed successful in the past whilst also highlighting potential misuse and abuse of humanitarian intervention. In addition to this, gaining an understanding of the general theoretical basis of cosmopolitanism adds to the narrative of the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention. It is the aim of this chapter to build on the historical context of humanitarian intervention and cosmopolitanism, addressing theoretical divisions to finally demonstrate that thin cosmopolitanism is the most feasible foundational basis for a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention within the current international order.

The distinction between thick and thin cosmopolitanism essentially serves to differentiate between strands of cosmopolitanism according to the extent of the demand that the cosmopolitanism places upon the individual and is utilized throughout this dissertation (Held, 2005: 159). Advocates of the thin conception (e.g. Shapcott, 2001; Linklater, 1998) still hold cosmopolitan commitments to humanity as being of the utmost importance but also recognise that other important responsibilities to groups exist alongside cosmopolitanism, acknowledging that there may be different layers of responsibilities (Scheffler, 1999: 260). Whereas advocates of a thick conception (e.g. Dobson, 2006; Nussbaum, 1996) hold that special attention afforded to groups, such as the attention given to family, nation or religion are only justified when aiding the cosmopolitan interest, as cosmopolitan commitments are especially weighty and all humans are to be treated equally (Scheffler, 1999: 259).

1.2 Historical Context: The Development of Humanitarian Intervention

To understand fully why the concept of humanitarian intervention remains shrouded in uncertainty, it is important to understand the historical context from which it has emerged. First, however, the definition of humanitarian intervention must be clarified as due to the uncertainty there is no generally accepted definition of humanitarian intervention (Ryniker, 2001: 527). Frye (2003: 3-4) identifies three shared characteristics of most definitions:

i) The threat or deployment of military force;
ii) Violation of a state’s sovereignty via the crossing of international borders;
iii) Primarily motivated to achieve humanitarian objectives rather than a state’s own strategic motives.

Although the term humanitarian intervention may be used to include non-military interventions such as diplomatic or economic sanctions and the actions of NGOs like the Red Cross, this dissertation will solely refer to humanitarian interventions involving military force. It must be noted that an intervention on the invite of a government or a counter-intervention to repel an invading force does not qualify as a humanitarian intervention as it does not violate a state’s sovereignty by crossing their international borders. Humanitarian intervention shall therefore be defined as:

The violation of a state’s sovereignty through the threat or deployment of military force by another state or states in order to save individuals from mass violations of human rights or other abuses.

With this definition established, an overview of the development of humanitarian intervention will clearly show what qualifies as a humanitarian intervention. Despite many unresolved issues still surrounding humanitarian intervention it is not a totally new concept insofar as the theory behind modern humanitarian intervention dates back to at least the 17th Century and the writings of Hugo Grotius (Criddle, 2015). From the 19th century onwards military action for a humanitarian motive has been a recurring issue in international politics. The 19th century saw what is generally regarded as the first instance of military humanitarian intervention when Britain, France and Russia intervened in the Greek War of Independence with the official motives defined in the 1827 Treaty of London as “sentiments of humanity”; “the tranquillity of Europe”; and commercial and other interests’ (Heraclides, 2012: 222). From this point onwards humanitarian motives were used more regularly as justifications for military action, although it was not immune to misuse as both Mussolini and Hitler claimed humanitarian motives for their interventions in Ethiopia and the Sudetenland respectively (Barsamian & Chomsky, 2001: 147). Following the devastation of the two World Wars and the advent of the Cold War humanitarian intervention stayed outside the mainstream as a primary reason for intervention with the international order remaining firmly grounded in sovereignty and the emergence of many post-colonial states due to the dismantling of vast empires. Yet, despite not being approved by the UN Security Council and being justified on grounds of self-defence three unilateral interventions, namely India’s 1971 intervention in East Pakistan, Vietnam’s 1978 intervention in Cambodia and Tanzania’s 1979 intervention in Uganda, had significant humanitarian effects and mark a substantial milestone in the developing legitimacy of humanitarian intervention (Weiss, 2007: 37-38).

It was not until the end of the Cold War when international relations were no longer centered around the tensions between the US and Soviet Union that humanitarian intervention saw a resurgence as an integral role of the international community with an unprecedented number of states willing to intervene. It is no surprise that this became a focus after the Cold War as the first 88 years of the 20th century saw 170 million people die by the hand of their own government (Rummel, 1994: 9). Between 1991-2000 there were seven separate instances of intervention on humanitarian grounds. The major punctuating points of the 1990s resurgence of humanitarian intervention are the failure to significantly intervene in Rwanda in 1994 resulting in the deaths of 800,000 and leading then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to swear ‘never again’, and the NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1998-9 which did not receive Security Council authorisation although was subsequently deemed to be ‘illegal but legitimate’ (UN Department of Public Information, 1999; The Independent International Commission on Kosovo, 2000: 4).

By the turn of the century, the series of interventions which had occurred in the 1990s suggested the emergence of a new norm of humanitarian intervention in international politics. This trend was seemingly solidified with the development of R2P in 2001. Although elements of R2P were endorsed by member states of the UN in 2005, this is perhaps the only major step forward for humanitarian intervention in the 21st century as it has faltered and failed to reach the heights or see the same enthusiasm of the 1990s (United Nations, 2005: 30). The turning point in the fortunes of humanitarian intervention can be primarily attributed to the effect of the 9/11 terrorist attacks which shifted international focus away from humanitarian intervention and kick-started the West’s War on Terror leading to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Both wars effectively tainted the reputation of humanitarian intervention. It was the Iraq war that did the most damage as under the Bush Doctrine US interventionism focused on pre-emptively striking Saddam Hussein to prevent use of ‘weapons of mass destruction’, whilst Tony Blair attempted to paint the war in Iraq as a humanitarian intervention (Blair, 2004; O’Hanlon, 2004). Humanitarian intervention in the 21st century made Kofi Annan’s promise of ‘never again’ a distant memory as not even a decade after Rwanda the international community failed to intervene effectively in the genocide in Darfur which began in 2003, with the conflict still ongoing to this day. It was not until 2011 that the international community once again took up the mantle of humanitarian intervention by intervening in Libya.

1.3 Cosmopolitan Theoretical Basis

Cosmopolitanism as we know it today attributes its origins to the ancient Greco-Roman philosophies of Cynicism and Stoicism, first gaining explicit expression through the Cynic philosopher Diogenes (2000: 65) who claimed that humans were kosmopolitês (universal citizens) and declared ‘I am a citizen of the world’, this sentiment being the underlying belief of all cosmopolitan strands. Stoics developed cosmopolitanism further, emphasising that humans inhabit two worlds simultaneously. One is the local world, which may be understood now as the state, assigned to a person when born and the other is the global world of the human community resultant of being born a human being (Rapport, 2012:22). With the renewed studies of ancient texts in the Enlightenment period of the 17th and 18th centuries cosmopolitanism experienced a philosophical resurgence which can be particularly attributed to increasing globalisation, capitalism, expanding empires and the gaining in popularity of a notion of human rights (Kleingeld & Brown, 2013). Cosmopolitan sentiments are to be found throughout prominent Enlightenment philosophers work ranging from Bacon and Voltaire to Paine and Locke, with Kant producing some of the most notable cosmopolitan writings towards the end of the Enlightenment period (Hayden, 2017).

Kant was influenced and drew upon the cosmopolitanism of the Stoics in developing his own cosmopolitanism, particularly drawing from stoicism in his use of Stoic terminology, his conceptualising of universal justice and law, his advocating of world citizenship and his ‘moral assertions for a kingdom of free rational beings that are equal in humanity and treated always as being ends in themselves’ (Brown, 2009: 8). Despite these similarities, there are profound differences between the Stoics and Kant, specifically regarding the goal of fostering respect for humanity whilst also containing aggression. Kant did not agree with the Stoic ‘theory of passions’ that human behaviour could be permanently altered through social engineering away from emotions and feelings of violence, and towards a cosmopolitan respect for humankind (Nussbaum, 2010: 28).

Kant’s work provides the basis for much contemporary cosmopolitan theory, and provides much of the foundational basis of this dissertation. Kant defines cosmopolitanism as being ‘the matrix within which all original capacities of the human race may develop’ (Kant, 1970: 51). This means that Kant’s cosmopolitanism is primarily concerned with fostering a global environment so that all individual beings may fully develop their human capacities (Brown, 2009: 31). To create this global environment Kant was not only concerned with promoting the development of ethical cosmopolitanism at the individual level through works such as Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1996a [1785]) and the Metaphysics of Morals (1996b [1797]), he also addressed institutional and ethical state level cosmopolitanism, outlining somewhat of a guide towards establishing world peace in Toward Perpetual Peace (1991 [1795]). Naturally, because of Kant’s upholding of the commitment to the state system alongside his recognition of the global human community his cosmopolitanism is a thin one (Porras, 2012 :136).

Kant proposed that through the fulfilment of preliminary articles, states and world leaders may aim to satisfy definitive articles which would then create a perpetual peace. The three definitive articles which states must satisfy are that states must abide by republican principles, organise themselves into a ‘league of peace’ and become united in conditions of hospitality respecting the rights of both their own citizens and foreigners (Kleingeld & Brown, 2013). Although it may be claimed that the United Nations represents the fulfilment to some extent of one aspect of Kant’s peace project as a manifestation of the league of peace, other important features such as his third preliminary article promoting the abolition of standing armies have not been satisfied. Most notable, for the purposes of this dissertation, is Kant’s fifth preliminary article which affirms that ‘no state is to interfere by force with the constitution or government of another state’, thus specifically ruling out any possibility of humanitarian intervention (1991: 96). However, contemporary scholars have employed Kant’s reasoning to develop arguments for humanitarian intervention. For example, Hill (2009: 236) concludes that Kant fails to outline a sustainable argument for absolute prohibition of humanitarian intervention and instead his ethics indicate that there may be cases when humanitarian intervention is justified so long as there are not punitive motives and the will of the citizens of the state which is being intervened in are respected by the interveners. Certainly, humanitarian intervention to stop massive violations of rights by a state does sit well with Kant’s (1991 [1795]: 12) vision that a ‘violation of rights in one place is now felt throughout the world’.

1.4 Humanitarian Intervention, Communitarianism and Cosmopolitanism

In the same way that a central issue within humanitarian intervention is the extent to which people owe a responsibility to protect nationals of another state, the different types of cosmopolitanism are separated by their understanding of the extent of commitment to the global community of human beings. Cosmopolitan theory emphasises the global community of human beings and universal principles like human rights, whereas communitarian international theory on the other hand is primarily concerned with the state as a political community and views the community as the main moral source of social cohesion (Moszkowicz, 2007: 284). The resurgence of cosmopolitanism in the 1990s led to a dichotomy emerging between cosmopolitanism and communitarianism within normative theory in international relations. Shapcott (2001: 30) agrees with Brown (1992; 1995; 1998) in stating that the main point of contention between the two theories is the argument of ‘whether the state or species represent the limit of human community’. Because of the state representing the limit of human community, communitarians believe that the standard of justice varies between states and from context to context as the standard derives from each specific society (Bell, 2016).

Yet, a communitarian approach to humanitarian intervention is becoming increasingly at odds with international order despite the international system remaining fundamentally state-centric. Holzgrefe (2003: 34) identifies the principal flaws of communitarianism as relativism, conservativism and consent, noting a naturalist criticism that communitarians ignore ‘the warping effects that asymmetries of wealth, power, and status have on expressions of consent’ as individuals would likely choose alternative norms to those that they have inherited through tradition. This is apparent in the work of Michael Walzer (1980: 214) who, as a leading communitarian, argues that ‘states can be presumptively legitimate in international society and actually illegitimate at home’, as if a community does not successfully rebel against a government then the international community must assume that there is a ‘fit’ between government and community. Thus, intervention may only be permissible when a government engages in crimes that ‘shock the moral conscience of mankind’ and effectively make self-determination of a community impossible (Walzer, 2000 [1977]: 106). Walzer’s assumption of a ‘fit’ between the community and government, and acceptance of levels of ‘ordinary oppression’ is criticized by Luban (1980: 395) who states that with this type of oppression the ‘government fits the people the way the sole of a boot fits a human face: after a while the patterns of indentation match with uncanny precision’. In a globalized international order with mass communication, travel and shared experiences the communitarian presumption that outsiders do not know enough about a culture to intervene is naïve and to suggest that those outsiders have no significant responsibilities to those suffering within other states is morally repugnant.

Despite the failings of communitarianism there is a fundamental flaw in the dichotomous approach of pitting cosmopolitanism against communitarianism, as this inherently means that when one position is correct the other must be wrong. This approach is outdated. Normative theory in international relations has moved beyond the dichotomous thinking to combine elements of both positions subsequently fostering more nuanced approaches to issues within international relations like humanitarian intervention (Cochran, 1999: xvii). There is some value in the communitarian approach to humanitarian intervention as the international order remains organized as a system of states. For example, Fabre (2012: 3) underlines the lack of a comprehensive cosmopolitan approach to the use of military force, citing as examples Mollendorf (2002) who restricted his argument to Jus ad Bellum and Caney (2005) who framed his account as a response to Walzer’s (2000 [1977]) Just and Unjust Wars. Thus, with sparse cosmopolitan literary resources on the matter, the communitarian position may be utilized to build a feasible cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention within the current international order. The lack of communication between the two positions in their most widely understood forms at either end of the spectrum effectively denies the possibility of combining the two to develop a ‘communitarian path to cosmopolitanism’ (Shapcott, 2001: 31). This is what thin cosmopolitanism attempts to do.

1.5 Thin Cosmopolitanism

With increased globalisation Kant’s vision of a violation of rights being felt across the world is moving closer to fruition, as Wheeler (2000: 308) notes, ‘the narrative of common humanity is sufficiently deep rooted in Western societies for the victims of gross human rights abuses to be seen as deserving concern and charity’. However, deserving ‘concern and charity’ is not sufficient grounds to motivate humanitarian intervention and thick cosmopolitan claims that the suffering of peoples in distant lands will compel individuals to act, merely as part of a sense of cosmopolitan responsibility, is unfounded and inadequate. Faulkner (2017: 317) theorises that when reminded of their own ingroup’s responsibility for causing some sort of harm to a distant outgroup, individuals do express greater acceptance of responsibility and more collective guilt but also engage in a dehumanisation of the outgroup effectively cancelling out the acceptance of responsibility and resulting in no overall increase in cosmopolitan helping. Regarding humanitarian interventions this is compounded by certain phenomena such as the so-called ‘body-bag effect’ which posits that rising military casualties within a conflict causes public support for an intervention to wane within an intervening state in spite of any original humanitarian objectives (Freedman, 2000; Wheeler, 2000). As media multiplies and individuals are presented with news and images of what is occurring in other parts of the world there has been an increased sensitivity amongst citizens of Western democracies regarding mass violations of human rights, the priority has remained avoiding war and not sending co-nationals to serve in high risk humanitarian interventions (Linklater, 2011: 64). This is plain in the attitude of US citizens who support a limited intervention in Syria, with 72% supporting airstrikes against Islamic extremist groups in comparison to 42% supporting sending ground troops with the same objective (Smeltz, et. al, 2016). Although there is an increasing awareness and a sense of a need to do something, the demands that thick cosmopolitanism places upon individuals is incompatible with a state-centric international order.

Thin cosmopolitanism’s acknowledgement of the layers of commitment placed upon an individual is necessary for building a feasible cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention. Whilst thick cosmopolitanism privileges identity over difference through promoting humanity as the only valid community, thus running the risk of requiring everybody to be the same, thin cosmopolitanism acknowledges identity and differences as having importance (Shapcott, 2001: 48). Central to the foundational basis of this dissertation is Linklater’s (1998) understanding of thin cosmopolitanism. Linklater (p. 204) promotes the fostering of a cosmopolitan citizenship, but unlike Kant he rejects any notion of global citizenship as smacking of ‘the sentimental and the absurd’. Rather he advocates for the reengineering of citizenship for the dual purpose of decoupling the perceived link between nationalism and citizenship whilst simultaneously establishing that individuals and non-state actors have moral duties to the rest of humanity (pp. 204-205). Linklater’s understanding of the international order and its development is also useful. He advocates for the ‘triple transformation’ of political community with the aim of increasing respect for cultural differences, reducing material inequalities and advancing universality, effectively bringing an end to the Westphalian era and fostering a new international order with pockets of solidarism existing within a pluralist international society (p. 209). The shift towards the post-Westphalian era is apparent in the prominence of pockets of solidarism in the form of continental unions, like the EU, AU and the Union of South American Nations (USAN), within the current pluralist international order. Efforts to foster a more cosmopolitan sense of citizenship are clear within the EU, with 49% of individuals within the EU defining themselves by their nationality and as Europeans, whilst 61% of individuals within the EU feel they are citizens of the European Union (European Commission, 2012: 21-25). Linklater’s understanding of the efforts required to reengineer citizenship and promote a more cosmopolitan approach within international order are essential in developing a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention.

1.6 Conclusion

The foundational basis of this dissertation as detailed throughout this chapter promotes a thin cosmopolitan approach, consequently rejecting thick cosmopolitanism as unsuitable for the current international order. In accordance with Shapcott’s (2001: 31) definition of thin cosmopolitanism as promoting somewhat of a ‘communitarian path to cosmopolitanism’ the foundational basis outlined above acknowledges the current international system as being fundamentally state-centric. It provides for development of an approach to humanitarian intervention that works within this system and creates a platform for the development of the international system towards a more cosmopolitan global order.

Chapter Two Ethical

2.1 Introduction

The basic ethical cosmopolitan position is well-defined. Pogge (1992: 48-49) identifies three essential and shared characteristics as the moral basis of cosmopolitanism: individualism, universality and generality. Individualism maintains that the focus remains on individuals rather than communities and political associations, universality ensures that all humans are treated equally, with generality emphasising the global reach of the principles of individualism and universality. Much like the concept of humanitarian intervention itself, the ethical basis of cosmopolitan humanitarian intervention is unclear. Although, any cosmopolitan approach to war is necessarily based upon principles promoting the supremacy of individuals over groups and maintaining an absolute prohibition against individuals conditional on membership of a group (Fabre, 2012: 7). Building on the foundational basis established in chapter one, this chapter outlines an ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention in three sections addressing the threshold of when to intervene, who has the duty to intervene and how may interveners conduct a humanitarian intervention in accordance with ethical cosmopolitanism. It must be noted, having dismissed thick cosmopolitanism in chapter one, this chapter and chapter three employ a thick cosmopolitan approach as a valuable reference point. This chapter will conclude outlining an ethical cosmopolitan basis that is to be followed by regional organisations as outlined in chapter three.

2.2 When? - Threshold

The threshold of intervention is one of the most contested points regarding humanitarian intervention as it effectively concerns how much abuse of power by a state is too much. The ICISS (2001: 32) set out a threshold criteria of just cause for military intervention stating that exceptions to the principle of non-intervention are only justified under circumstances to stop or prevent large scale loss of life or large scale ethnic cleansing whether through killing or expulsion. Walzer (2000 [1977]: 106) argues that the threshold for just intervention should be limited to when a state engages in crimes that ‘shock the moral conscience of mankind’. The maintenance of a high threshold and a strict principle of non-intervention does not sit well with cosmopolitans as to do so is to effectively indulge in ‘the romance of the nation state’ by placing the rights of the state above those of the individual (Luban, 1980: 393). That being said cosmopolitans do not advocate for a prima facie right of intervention by any means, but there is a tendency in accordance with cosmopolitan principles to advocate for a lower threshold of intervention. Fabre (2012: 173) promotes a radically thick cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention, claiming that cosmopolitans should not only endorse the demanding view that violations of civil and political rights are just grounds for intervention but they must ‘endorse the most demanding view’ that violations of civil, political and socioeconomic rights qualifies as just grounds for intervention. This position is in accordance with her reasoning that breaches of a right not to be subject to severe poverty provides the poor with a just cause for going to war against the rich (Fabre, 2012: 174).

The low threshold promoted by Fabre is highly problematic. Such a low threshold inherently violates the Jus ad Bellum principles of proportionality and last resort for the simple reason that it is neither proportional nor necessary to wage war with the aim of upholding socioeconomic rights like healthcare or education. It also effectively undermines Article 2(4) of the UN Charter prohibiting the threat or use of force for purposes inconsistent with those of the UN. For example, whilst economic globalisation has caused global inequality between states to decline, primarily due to the increasing economic powers of large developing economies like China, economic inequality within states has actually increased as economic growth has benefitted the rich more than the poor causing income gaps to widen, as demonstrated by the fact that even in advanced economies the average income of the richest 10% of the population is nine times that of the poorest 10%. (Bourguignon, 2016; OECD, 2011). Therefore, with violations of socioeconomic rights apparent to some extent in most states Fabre is essentially endorsing military action between the majority of nations on the planet. Archibugi (2004: 6) uses the example of infibulation or stoning of adulterous women in some nations to criticise a low threshold, stating that it is debatable whether these practices should be tolerated on grounds of cultural relativism or banned on grounds of universalism, but few states ‘would dream of urging a military intervention in a foreign country to ban these practices’. If such a low threshold were to be accepted in international relations the widely condemned 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq would technically have qualified as a justified humanitarian intervention as the systematic oppression occurring within Iraq at the time was much worse than the previously mentioned examples of rights violations (HRW, 2004). A low threshold to the extent promoted by Fabre effectively dilutes the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention and is too much of a utopian exercise to function as any sort of ethical cosmopolitan basis for humanitarian intervention.

A useful framework for a more specific cosmopolitan threshold of intervention is provided by human rights. Although not all cosmopolitans accept human rights as the sole ethical basis for intervention, with some scholars including additional civil, political or economic rights, human rights always make up at least part of the moral justification of intervention as a result of being universal values recognised within international law (Caney, 2005: 231). As Luban (1980: 396) put it, ‘if human rights exist at all, they set a moral limit to pluralism’. Sangha (2012: 6) identifies an ethical basis for intervention of standard cosmopolitanism as centering upon what the individual freely chooses and what is forced upon the individual under coercive circumstances, meaning that human autonomy is the key indicator of when to intervene. Life, then, is to be understood as not merely a biological phenomenon but something that an individual lives, and for a state to infringe upon this is to unjustly deny an individual the opportunity to live a full life (Norman, 1990: 169). Such an understanding derives directly from Kant’s (1996a: 429) assertion that individuals are to be treated as an end in themselves rather than merely as a means, as to do so is to deny an individual their personhood.

So, with autonomy as the key indicator of when to intervene and using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UNDHR, 1948) as a cosmopolitan human rights framework, the right to life, liberty and security of person contained in Article 3 may act as the reference point for intervention. Article 3 acts as the reference point specifically because it is the ultimate negative right, as a right that does not require action, in the sense that to infringe upon other negative rights like Article 4’s ban on slavery or Article 5’s ban on torture would also in effect infringe upon Article 3. This can be further clarified through the example of the current situation in Yemen. Within the Yemeni Civil War seven million people are at risk of starvation as critical infrastructure like roads, bridges and ports have been destroyed to prevent supplies reaching rebel held territories and the government’s neighbouring ally Saudi Arabia has established a naval blolckade preventing 85% of the country’s food supplies passing through, essentially weaponising food and potentially causing a man-made famine (Ellis, 2017; UN News Centre, 2017; WFP, 2017). Should a state use food as a weapon as is occurring in Yemen, then that government is actively infringing upon the individual autonomy of the people on a mass scale and the negative right to life as contained in Article 3. On the other hand, were the Yemeni government to have failed to provide food due to a naturally occurring famine that restricted access to food, subsequently meaning that the government violated a positive right such as the right to an adequate standard of living as outlined in Article 11 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), then this would not warrant intervention as the government has not actively infringed upon individual autonomy. Certainly, the infringement of autonomy need not be as defined as acts like the weaponising of food or genocide and may be more subtle. For example, individual autonomy could be infringed upon on a large scale if a government failed to abide by peace agreements over a sustained period opting instead to attempt to totally eliminate the rebelling forces through a harsh bombing campaign that destroyed civilian infrastructure, subsequently creating a high number of refugees. Therefore, building on infringement of individual autonomy as the key threshold for intervention there must be widespread active infringement by a government to warrant humanitarian intervention on an ethical cosmopolitan basis.

Having established an active infringement of individual autonomy as the key indicator of when to intervene, it must be further clarified why civil, political or economic rights do not justify a humanitarian intervention. This is once again a matter of proportionality. Referring back to the earlier referenced example of the stoning of adulterous women, should a government sanction such action this would of course be a matter of a government actively violating an individual’s autonomy. Using the example of stoning in Iran, which resulted in the deaths of at least 150 people over a thirty-year period from 1980-2010 in a country with a population estimated at 83 million people, highlights how it would be disproportionate to intervene for this reason (Hoseini, 2010: 4). Nevertheless, hypothetically if the government of Iran were to bring allegations of adulterous behavior against large numbers of the female population and subsequently murder them en masse via stoning then this would be a widespread active infringement upon individual autonomy and would thus qualify as a justification for humanitarian intervention. In accordance with the ethical cosmopolitan promotion of principles of universalism and common humanity, unjust violation of individual or a group of individuals’ autonomy is not exempt from external critique, but also in accordance with the principles of Jus ad Bellum these relatively small violations are to be dealt with proportionally (Lu, 2006; Sangha, 2012: 10). A cosmopolitan ethical threshold for intervention is thus not so high to the point of waiting for shocks to the moral conscience of mankind to occur before acting, but not so low as to advocate for disproportionate use of military force. The threshold maintains that a government must actively engage in widespread infringements upon individual autonomy for there to be a justified ethical cosmopolitan intervention.

2.3 Who? – The Interveners

With the appropriate threshold for intervention outlined above, there remains a point of contention as to what actor is fit to fulfil the duty to intervene. Once again, Fabre (2012: 178-179) takes a problematic thick cosmopolitan approach promoting a near constant duty to intervene, arguing against imposing limits on ‘the rights of potential interveners not to intervene’ and maintaining that so long as the intervention does not infringe upon the subsistence rights (rights to material resources to live a minimally decent life) of individual interveners then the duty to intervene remains. This proposal is, however, somewhat self-contradictory through supporting the diminishment of individual intervener’s autonomy to the point that they may only expect to live a minimally decent life in order to halt infringement of another people’s autonomy in a different state. It is also unlikely that any humanitarian intervention would foster such conditions as interventions are by no means expected to escalate to the scale of the Second World War when individuals were made to live a minimally decent life by rationing food for the war effort. The duty to intervene is to have minimal effect upon an individual’s autonomy within an intervening state but they may incur some costs such as increased taxation to fund the intervention (Pattison: 2013: 579).

Fabre (2012: 189-191) also supports a ‘heavily-qualified multilateralism’ meaning that if multilateral institutions like the UN fail to mobilise an intervention force to prevent rights violations then individual states which need not respect the rights of their own citizens may adopt the right to wage war so long as they abide by the principles of just war in executing the intervention, as effectiveness is paramount. To endorse an intervening party that does not respect the rights of its own citizens effectively undermines the ethical cosmopolitan principle of universality that every human is to be treated equally. It also undermines the understanding of sovereignty as responsibility, as if a state fails to respect its citizen’s rights it forfeits its sovereignty and as a result also surrenders any legitimacy as an intervening party (Atack, 2002: 281). Naturally when this issue is discussed examples of successful interventions by states that did not respect rights of their citizens in the past may be used to show that non-rights respecting interventions are effective, the prime examples being Indian intervention in East Pakistan, Vietnamese intervention in Cambodia and Tanzanian intervention in Uganda during the Cold War. These interventions occurred prior to a norm of humanitarian intervention gaining credibility as an acceptable role for the international community, hence they are outdated examples in this case as the reality of contemporary humanitarian intervention is now that interventions between states in the Global South are highly unlikely to occur without the backing or involvement of Western states (Archibugi, 2004: 2). Therefore, interventions by a non-rights-respecting state is unacceptable both as part of a cosmopolitan ethical approach to humanitarian intervention and within contemporary international relations.

Nevertheless, even if an intervening party is rights-respecting it is highly improbable that the motives for intervention are solely humanitarian. In fact, Welsh (2004: 58) claims it to be ‘an empirical fact’ that humanitarian interventions are driven by mixed motives. It is all well and good to suggest that an ethical cosmopolitan basis of humanitarian intervention must maintain the principles of universality, generality and individuality as sufficient motivation for intervention but to do so is unfortunately infeasible within contemporary international order. The lack of effective intervention in Rwanda despite the massive violations of human rights can be attributed to several reasons including Rwanda’s lack of mineral resources or strategic geographic location and serves as a testament to the importance of other motives in addition to those of a humanitarian nature in stimulating effective intervention (Carroll, 2004). This is not to say that an invasion with some humanitarian side-effects qualifies as a humanitarian intervention because motives are to be secondary to a humanitarian outcome, as some scholars argue (e.g. Walzer, 2000 [1977]: 105; Nardin, 2013: 70). For an intervention to qualify as a humanitarian intervention, the humanitarian motive must be the dominant motive of an intervening party as part of the cosmopolitan ethical basis.

Determining motives is difficult and often done in hindsight as demonstrated by the 2011 Libyan intervention which has seen NATO accused of overstepping the mark and being primarily motivated by regime change (Kovalik, 2017). The Libya intervention also serves to highlight that multilateral alliances of states are not immune to succumbing to ulterior motives when intervening. In an ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention neither a multilateral alliance of states or a unilateral single state intervening are the preferred options. The more that cases of intervention are assessed by groups of similar states or single states, the more likely they are to be motivated by self-interest and less motivated by humanitarianism (Archibugi, 2004: 8). For instance, the abovementioned Indian intervention in East Pakistan was motivated by underlying strategic interests to strike a blow at India’s old enemy Pakistan (Walzer, 2000 [1977]: 105) Whilst multilateral alliances of states are usually formed for a purpose that is primarily of an economic or strategic defensive nature.

Certainly, due to the dominance of Western states in contemporary humanitarian intervention if an alliance of states such as NATO or a single state like the US undertook an intervention there would be justified concerns amongst post-colonial states regarding the use of humanitarian intervention as a neo-colonial instrument of domination to implement a Western ‘standard of civilization’ upon weaker states (Wheeler, 2001: 118). One of the main benefits of regional forces or a multilateral grouping of neighbouring states intervening for humanitarian purposes is that they inherently have a vested self-interest in stopping any mass violation of human rights to stop refugee flows, the potential overspill of the conflict and the destabilization of the region (Krieg, 2012; Nardin, 2013; 72; Pattison, 2013: 572; Walzer, 2004: 74). Although this point is more practical and not specifically ethical, it serves to identify the preferred ethical cosmopolitan intervening actor, subsequently ensuring that those who intervene are amongst the most ethical candidates with primary concerns of humanitarianism and regional stability rather than other motives like the attainment of wealth or resources. In terms of cosmopolitan ethics, then, a stricter version of Fabre’s aforementioned ‘heavily-qualified multilateralism’ is to be implemented, with all intervening actors to be rights-respecting. It is preferable that any humanitarian intervention is carried out by a regional organisation or a multilateral grouping of neighbouring states. In the absence of a willingness on the part of these actors to intervene then it should fall to a neighbouring regional organisation, multilateral non-regional actors or military alliances to intervene. And in the case that there is no multilateral actor willing to intervene but a rights-respecting state with the capacity to intervene and a high probability of success, then there may be a unilateral intervention.

2.4 How? – Executing an Intervention

Leading on from the discussion above concerning the requirement of interveners to be respectful of their own citizen’s rights, there is some tension in these rights-respecting states sending their citizens to war when the main responsibility of the state is to protect those same citizens. By its very nature humanitarian intervention endorses the negative consequentialist assertion that the least amount of harm must be caused to the greatest number of people. Resultant of this, past interventions have seen intervening operations planned with the aim of keeping casualties amongst intervening forces low, potentially impacting effectiveness of the intervention, as was the case in the NATO bombing in Kosovo which caused approximately 500 civilians deaths (HRW, 2000). NATO’s failure to initially consider a land option in Kosovo permitted the Yugoslav forces to focus on killing and concealment rather than defence, and showed that the intervention would have been more effective had there been at least the threat of a land component and greater relations with local belligerents, in addition to the air campaign (Roberts, 1999: 110-112).

Naturally it is easier in hindsight to point to these failings and despite them the Kosovo intervention is largely considered a success. But for a state to sacrifice effectiveness of operations in humanitarian missions with the aim of preserving its own citizen’s lives, consequently negatively impacting upon the individuals which are supposed to be rescued, violates the ethical cosmopolitan belief in the universality of individuals by placing more value on the lives of intervening combatants than on the non-combatants. If an intervention would be most effectively carried out solely as an air operation, and has been assessed as effective in accordance with the universality of individuals and the Jus In Bello principle of non-combatant immunity, then that operation is not to be deemed as placing more moral value on one group over the other simply because it is more risk averse. The 2011 Libyan intervention, for instance, did not require a land operation and was more efficient as an air and sea operation (Singh & Wittes, 2012). Although the NATO intervention in Libya caused the deaths of 72 non-combatants this operation was the most effective option available (HRW, 2012). It is idealistic to hold that an intervention may be casualty free as warfare almost never is, thus when determining the cosmopolitan ethical approach to humanitarian intervention the universality of individuals is to be balanced against the potential effectiveness of the intervening operation.

2.5 Conclusion

As discussed in this chapter, a cosmopolitan humanitarian intervention must abide by ethical cosmopolitan principles in accordance with just war theory. Intervening on a cosmopolitan ethical basis should be when individual autonomy is actively infringed upon to a large scale by the state, preferably carried out by a rights-respecting multilateral regional force that will respect the equality of all individuals when carrying out intervening operations. This ethical approach must work in accordance with and be entrenched by institutional change, as outlined in chapter three, which will in turn accelerate the ideational change to maintain the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention as effective.

Chapter Three Institutional

3.1 Introduction

The previous chapter outlined an ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention, acknowledging that for this ethical basis to have a positive effect there needed to be institutional change. Specifically regarding humanitarian intervention, to attempt to enforce an ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention without creating specific institutional frameworks runs the risk of restricting individual non-citizen’s rights by allowing their affairs to come under the control of foreign powers (Chandler, 2003: 347). This chapter will outline the necessary institutional change, first giving a brief overview of the legal requirements of an institutional cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention before outlining a global cosmopolitan force in the shape of a UN army, and a more feasible proposal of a regional level standing force. Whilst a basis of thin cosmopolitanism is present throughout this dissertation, since it primarily addresses the practicalities of a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention, thin cosmopolitanism has a subtler presence in this chapter through its acknowledgement, for example, of the different levels of community in forming a regional humanitarian intervention force.

3.2 Law

In conjunction with developing a standing force for humanitarian intervention there must also be law to support the right of this force to intervene. There are some (e.g. Chandler, 2003; Cohen, 2004) who see the political morality and ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention as undermining the stability of international law by emphasising morality over legality. However, Franceschet (2007: 2) rightly argues that cosmopolitanism does not ‘support bypassing the question of legality and proper authority’, but naturally promotes the strengthening of international law. A cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention does not necessitate a reworking of the UN Charter and undoing of the principle of non-intervention. Rather, regarding a legal basis of the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention that fits within the current international order, the framework provided by the doctrine of R2P may suffice as the institutional embodiment of the cosmopolitan understanding that ‘the universal and equal moral status of human beings transcends national borders’ (Sangha, 2012: 5).

The current problem with the law is the lack of codification or strong enforcement of the responsibility to protect. This is clear by the watering down of R2P and lack of active commitment by UN member states in the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, for example, with paragraph 139 only holding the General Assembly to a mandate of ‘continuing consideration’, rather than active implementation of R2P (United Nations, 2005: 30). As made clear by the 2005 World Summit Outcome Document, R2P in its current manifestation is an ally of sovereignty that seeks to reinforce the sovereign state system by aiding states in meeting their protection responsibilities instead of having at its centre the aim to protect civilian lives in armed conflict (United Nations, 2009: 7). The lack of active implementation in conjunction with the focus upon sovereignty has made R2P an empty shell that currently does little to alter or accelerate change to the status quo of the international system. Indeed, the crimes that R2P protects against and the idea that states owe some level of responsibility to their citizens have long been acknowledged under international law (Hehir, 2015: 684-685). The real value of R2P is that it centrally defines and clarifies sovereignty as responsibility, thus for it to be an effective legal basis it must be codified as the definitive legal authority of humanitarian intervention and implemented as policy. As an effective legal basis of cosmopolitan humanitarian intervention R2P must be implemented in accordance with ethical cosmopolitanism. So, for example, pillar one of R2P which maintains that a state has the responsibility to protect its own citizens from mass atrocities may be interpreted along cosmopolitan lines as implying political institutions have ‘moral value only insofar as they respect the moral worth and interests of individual citizens’ (Caney, 2005: 233). Implementing R2P in this manner effectively shifts the focus of R2P from emphasising state sovereignty to protecting individuals.

Central to the lack of enforcement is the lack of a legal enforcement body for R2P. Within the current international order this should come in the form of an international court like the International Court of Justice (ICJ), as the primary judicial branch of the UN, or the International Criminal Court (ICC) which could determine when humanitarian intervention is necessary. Zyberi (2012) notes that the ICJ may contribute to the enforcement of R2P by providing advisory opinions to clarify certain legal obligations to states or by indicating provisional measures orders to potentially stop a state from causing harm to individuals, whilst preliminary investigations by the ICC may also serve a similar purpose of deterrence through investigation of state leaders. Additionally, decisions by these courts may complement the enforcement of the R2P doctrine as demonstrated by the ICJ’s judgement in Bosnia v Serbia (2007) in which the ICJ ruled that states as well as individuals may commit genocide. To enforce R2P strictly the ICJ would obviously not be limited solely to genocide. Glanville (2012: 26) highlights that although in this case the ICJ ruled that its jurisdiction was limited to genocide, it also acknowledged that obligations to protect populations from other breaches of R2P ‘do constitute preemptory norms, and their prevention may be considered obligations owed erga omnes’.

R2P forms an integral part of the cosmopolitan institutional basis for humanitarian intervention. Although, a lack of codification and strict enforcement of the responsibility to protect is currently problematic. R2P’s status within international law must be clarified and strengthened to codify the cosmopolitan principles and entrench the necessary ideational changes, effectively ensuring that law and politics will work together for an effective and legitimate cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention (Banda, 2007: 24). The law does not need to be changed, but reinforced. A stronger legal basis supporting the responsibility understanding of sovereignty would effectively reinforce the legitimacy of the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention.

3.3 A Global Cosmopolitan Intervention Force

Prior to investigating a military force for humanitarian intervention in the guise of a UN standing force it must be clarified that cosmopolitans need not necessarily endorse or support the establishment of a global standing force. Nevertheless, the establishment of a global force not mandated to protect a state but to intervene for humanitarian purposes is the ‘ultimate logic of cosmopolitan military action’ (Gilmore, 2015: 149). As humanitarian intervention, at its core, is the punishment of crimes committed by a state against citizens it resembles global law enforcement, but this force would not take the form of a world police force primarily because a police model does not sufficiently account for the right to kill in a humanitarian intervention (Fabre, 2012: 192; Walzer, 2000[1977]: 106). Much like many other cosmopolitan ideals, the ideal of a cosmopolitan humanitarian intervention force in the shape of a UN army was apparent from when the UN was still in its infancy. In 1944 Harold E. Stassen, a member of the US delegation that signed the UN Charter, suggested a restructuring of the UN on its 50th anniversary in 1995 to include the creation of:

‘A small, elite multilingual United Nations Legion of volunteers, with not too many from any one state or race or religion. The legion should be well equipped and well trained to respond promptly to Security Council decisions regarding potential trouble spots’ (Kirby & Rothmann, 2012: 30).

Reviews of the structure of the UN did occur leading up to the 50th anniversary and throughout the 1990s, with several steps taken towards developing a rapid-reaction peacekeeping force. Amongst other developments like the establishment of a UN Standby Arrangement System (UNSAS) to secure personnel and material resources with the aim of improving the rapid deployment capabilities, a Multinational UN Standby Forces High Readiness Brigade (SHIRBRIG) was formed in 1996 to complement UNSAS, and was to consist of a 4,000 to 5,000 strong standing force, readily deployable with 15-30 days’ notice (Langille, 2000). From 2000-2006 SHIRBRIG participated in five UN missions with a rapidly deployable permanent staff capability of 16 officers and 100 non-permanent staff officers, before ceasing all operations in 2009 (UN Department for Public Information, 2007; SHIRBRIG, 2009). The example of SHIRBRIG echoes the fate of many initiatives of the 1990s to establish a rapidly deployable peacekeeping force for the UN as it was greeted with initial enthusiasm in early years before slowly fizzling out and dying as the 2000s wore on and support for intervention generally waned. These UN initiatives have also been inadequate as they have been developed with peacekeeping in mind. But to qualify as an effective force for humanitarian intervention they must be built with a mandate to make peace through forceful military intervention rather than to keep peace.

Nevertheless, past proposals for UN rapid deployment peacekeeping forces provide a useful starting point and the essential depiction of the force as being made up of volunteer troops of a truly cosmopolitan character, with no national allegiance but a sole motivation to aid and protect humanity has been a constant recurring feature amongst proposals for a cosmopolitan force (Kinloch-Pichat, 2004; Pattison, 2008). However, the size and structure of an effective UN standing army has not been so clear. O’Hanlon (2003: 8) attributes contemporary support of a smaller UN force of around 5,000 troops to claims made by Canadian general Romeo Dallaire that with a force of this size he could have stopped the 1994 Rwandan genocide. But a small force of 5,000 or even 10,000 troops would not be able to respond to more than one humanitarian crises at a time. Most crises also usually require a much larger commitment of troops, for example despite primarily being an air and sea operation the NATO intervention in Libya involved 13,000 military personnel (Datablog, 2016). For these reasons, O’Hanlon (2003: 17) argues that the international community should aim to develop and sustain 100,000 troops with capabilities to deploy 200,000 troops for an extended basis, meaning that taking in to account rotation of troops there would need to be a standing force of about 600,000 troops.

With such a large force an obvious practical issue is funding and establishing infrastructure, but this is not an impassable object as a UN army is most likely to be established utilizing the existing capacities of national armies (O’Hanlon, 2003: 12). One immediately apparent benefit of establishing a UN army is that there would no longer be a reliance upon member states for carrying out UN peacekeeping missions and interventions. As a starting point in establishing the force Archibugi (2004: 13) suggests building on the capacities of national armies through reviving a proposal made by former French President Mitterrand in 1992 that 50 of the wealthiest nations make 1,000 troops available to the UN on a standby basis for peacekeeping purposes. Following such a proposal would effectively remedy the problem of equipment shortages and allow for quicker deployment whilst removing the burden of intervention and peacekeeping from poorer states, like Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh, whose citizens make up the bulk of peacekeeping forces now, essentially placing the operations in more capable and better trained hands (Rachman, 2009).

The establishment of such a large standing force would necessitate institutional change within the wider UN system. Whilst the UN is currently reliant upon nations for troops, it is also reliant upon the UN Security Council (UNSC) for authorisation of any humanitarian intervention meaning that any of the permanent five (P5) members of the UNSC can veto humanitarian intervention in accordance with their own will. If this was the case with a UN standing force it would effectively prevent the intervention of the force against any P5 members or states that they may wish to protect (Kinloch-Pichat, 2004: 237). Moreover, the P5 features three European states, the US and China, and does not include any state from the Global South which are the states that are most likely to be intervened in, thus reflecting a major failure regarding humanitarian intervention and democratic accountability. Pattison (2008: 134) claims that without reform within the UN to foster increased democratic accountability the UN army cannot work and may only function alongside thick cosmopolitan democratic institutions including a reformed UNSC. He suggests replacing the P5 with regional organisations who would hold a weakened veto, and a global parliament to combat the inequality within the General Assembly which currently treats small and large states as equals, affording individuals of smaller states more power.

To realise the reform advocated by Pattison would be to completely restructure the UN system and is highly unlikely to be achievable without a long-term development commitment. For instance, regarding reform of the UNSC to a more regional representation, the UN High-Level Panel (HLP) on Threats, Challenges and Change (2004: 81) envisioned an enlarged UNSC of 24 seats with seats divided according to regional categorization of Africa, Asia and Pacific, Europe and the Americas. The Panel could not agree on a single model, instead proposing two models, model A provided for 11 permanent seats, with no veto and 13 two-year term non-renewable seats, whereas model B differed by maintaining the current 5 permanent seats and the veto, whilst providing for 8 non-renewable four-year seats and 11 non-renewable two-year seats. This proposal is only one of many and the uncertainty of the Panel reflects the wider uncertainty amongst states regarding the way forward for UNSC reform, thus for the time being it appears that any attempts at UNSC reform are unlikely to find success (Ronzitti, 2010: 9). Similarly, although Archibugi (2004: 10) sees a world parliament as an ‘ideal institution’ to determine when to intervene, he acknowledges that this is a long-term ambition, advocating rather that in the short-term intervention should be authorised by a ‘Council of Experts’ made up of authoritative NGOs and other objective experts or an international legal institute such as the ICJ.

In terms of building a cosmopolitan standing force specifically for humanitarian intervention and considering the above outline of the necessary institutional developments, the main problem with a UN army is that it is simply a step too far, too soon. The necessary institutional changes to establish an effective UN army are unachievable whilst international order remains fundamentally state-centric as they essentially advocate for the establishment of a form of world government. Indeed, objections to a UN standing force share many of the same reasoning as objections to the establishment of a world government. For instance, it was Kant (1991) who voiced one of the primary objections to a world government as he feared that such an institution would become tyrannical as it could not be defeated by external political rivals or overthrown from within due to its powerful global army. Further, a UN standing army is likely to undermine the monopoly on force that states currently hold through national armies over their territories, consequently causing concern amongst states regarding the impact upon their own legitimacy (Gilmore, 2015: 257). The importance of the national army to the state is another sticking point. For instance, after being elected in 1997 Blair’s Labour Government produced a Strategic Defence Review in 1998 promoting several cosmopolitan themes including an expeditionary defence strategy and claiming the British to be an ‘internationalist people’, who ‘do not want to stand idly by and watch humanitarian disasters’ (Dodds & Oakes, 1998: 16). However, Deakin (2010: 5) highlights that whilst British politicians speak of cosmopolitanism, military leaders often speak using nationalist language as they still view the main role of the military as protecting the nation and maintain military ethics which are traditionally ‘communitarian, hierarchical and nationalistic’.

Whilst interest in intervention remains, the enthusiasm for action even within the UN is no longer as strong due to a ‘prevailing atmosphere of fatalistic cynicism’ reflected in the new UN mantra to ‘do more with less’ (Langille, 2012: 2). Indeed, both Archibugi (2004: 14) and Pattison (2008: 137) agree that any UN standing force and the reforms to support it are long-term plans and that in the short-term, improvement of regional infrastructure for intervention must be the main priority. For now, talk of a UN standing force has proved and remains little more than an academic exercise and a step too far in organizing standing forces for humanitarian intervention, representing the end goal rather than the short-term development (Diehl, 2005). Thus, although the UN army is the ‘ultimate logic of cosmopolitan military action’, the institutional changes required to make it a reality are unattainable within the current international order.

3.4 A Regional Intervention Force

The overarching logic in building a regional standing force for humanitarian intervention is that it is capable of functioning within the current international order and appeals to the self-interest of states. As noted in section 2.3, humanitarian interventions are driven by mixed motives and a state will rarely, if ever, intervene on solely humanitarian grounds meaning that humanitarian interventions will be ‘humanitarian plus’ with domestic, regional and international concerns shaping any decision to intervene (Stanley Foundation, 2000: 4). Linked to this are the concerns amongst poorer countries and countries in the Global South that fear the mixed motives of humanitarian intervention may be of a neo-colonial nature. Neo-colonial concerns are apparent amongst most post-colonial states regarding international organisations, as demonstrated by the continent-wide African condemnation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) as a neo-colonial project and a tool of Western imperialism (Cropley, 2016). The fact that much of the backlash stems from the prosecution of African heads of states also highlights the other side of these concerns as African leaders have exploited neo-colonial concerns to their own personal and political advantage. For instance, Kenyan President Kenyatta and Vice-President Ruto both pursued the Presidency and Vice-Presidency respectively, despite their ongoing case at the ICC, safe in the knowledge that the AU would be outraged at the continued prosecution of sitting African heads of state (Nichols, 2015). Regarding humanitarian intervention, whether fears of neo-colonialism are legitimately apparent or justified in all cases is unclear but due to the history of colonialism amongst Western states the shadow of empire still looms large and they must be taken seriously.

Regional humanitarian intervention is one way of undermining any neo-colonial fears. That being said military alliances like NATO present a significant challenge to the intervention credentials of regional organisations. Being a military alliance of ideologically aligned states in the same general region with a shared objective does not mean that NATO is an appropriate force for humanitarian intervention as an inherently political organisation formed with the purpose of counter-intervention and as a deterrent against Soviet aggression in Europe. However, NATO and its two major interventions in Kosovo and Libya serve as important examples of the possibility of multilateral forces intervening to maintain regional stability. It must be noted that examples of multilateral forces intervening for regional stability are not confined to NATO and Western nations. Although not a humanitarian intervention, the successful military intervention in Gambia to replace former President Jammeh with newly elected President Barrow by West Africa’s regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), also shows the capabilities of states from the Global South to intervene effectively (Thurston, 2017).

Efforts within both the EU and AU to develop military forces resembling multinational standing armies with humanitarian purposes serve as prime examples of the willingness amongst states to develop such humanitarian capabilities and as a model for other regional intervention forces to be based on. It is important to note, that within both organisations the infrastructure deemed necessary to hold a UN army democratically accountable such as the global parliament are already in place in the form of regional parliaments. Like the plans for a UN standing force, plans for a European army date back to the aftermath of the Second World War and the establishment of a European Defence Community which eventually failed and ceased to exist in 1954 (Ruane, 2000). Efforts to establish a standing force for the EU have been blocked by Britain in the past largely to maintain the primacy of NATO and a proposed deployment to of a 1,500 strong European intervention force to the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2008 was also blocked, however the British decision to leave the EU has given renewed hope to the establishment of a European standing force (Borger & Traynor, 2008; Marcus, 2016).

The most promising development reflecting a humanitarian intervention force is the EU battlegroups concept. Each EU battlegroup is based on a principle of multinationalism, contains a maximum of 1,500 troops and are primarily focused on ‘Petersberg’ missions (crisis response operations) with an initial sustainability of 30 days, capable of being extended to 120 days (WEU, 1992; EU Common Security and Defence Policy, 2013). There are 15 battlegroups that are on stand-by for six-month rotation cycles with a collection of troops from different EU member states making up each multinational battlegroup (Kaya, 2012: 5; Global Security, 2016). One of the most recent collection of states to assume the role of EU battlegroup force headquarters is the Eurocorps. The Eurocorps is unique in that even without participation in the EU battlegroups it is an effective model for a regional humanitarian intervention force to be based upon. The Eurocorps consists of five equal Framework Nations (Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Spain) that provide resources, occupy commanding positions on a rotational basis and make decisions by consensus, and five Associated Nations (Poland, Greece, Italy, Romania and Turkey) who contribute to the headquarters by ‘fostering its multinational quality’ (Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies, 2013). Eurocorps is ‘initial-entry-capable’ with the ability to conduct forces of up to 65,000 troops and apart from participating in common defence missions with the EU or NATO, can carry out humanitarian, peacekeeping and peacemaking operations as a uniquely autonomous force legally recognised under the Treaty of Strasbourg (European Parliament, 2017). The autonomy of the force and the mandate of peacemaking is important in the intervention as sufficient for a multilateral humanitarian force.

The AU’s regional military capabilities come in the form of the African Standby Force (ASF). The ASF is mandated under Article 13 of the AU’s Peace and Security Council (PSC) Protocol to undertake humanitarian intervention in member states for the purposes of peace-support, conflict prevention and peace building. It became fully operational in 2016 and is made up of five regional standby forces each with a rapid deployment capability of 2,500 personnel capable of being deployed within 14 days in emergencies like war crimes, genocide and mass human rights violations (Institute for Security Studies, 2015a). The ASF is seen by the AU as an integral part of African solutions to African problems and is key to African initiatives like the aim to ‘silence the guns’ by ending all conflicts on the continent by 2020 (Institute for Security Studies, 2015b). As a continent that experienced over half of the world’s conflicts in 2014, despite only having 16% of the global population, the establishment of the ASF will undoubtedly have immediate benefits but also exposes some of the more immediate challenges that a regional military force faces (Dörrie, 2016).

Despite being called upon to intervene in numerous cases, the AU has been hesitant to deploy the ASF since it became fully operational, instead opting for more ‘traditional’ ad hoc military peacekeeping forces (Institute for Security Studies, 2017). This can be attributed to political hurdles including hostility and mistrust between contributing states as is the case in East Africa between Ethiopia and Eritrea due to their unresolved border conflict, hegemonic aspirations of states in some regions demonstrated by the division of ASF East African regional headquarters and planning elements between Kenya and Ethiopia, and the AU’s lack of continental level ownership of the ASF leading to disjointed sub-regional conflict management (Beza, 2015: 453). In addition to these political obstacles there are also issues regarding material resources. The ability of the ASF to execute its mandate effectively has been ‘constrained by a lack of military capabilities, insufficient resources and inadequate institutional capacity’ (United Nations General Assembly Security Council, 2009: 5). Issues regarding military resources ultimately arise from problems of funding with states sometimes preferring to allocate funds to address domestic interests and combat local threats. This has resulted in a continued reliance upon support from the UN, EU and other bilateral sources, with the AU ultimately aiming to make up 25% of ASF funding whilst relying upon external sources for the other 75% (Institute for Security Studies, 2015a: 3). Although, aiming for this level of domestic funding with a reliance upon external funding is not as problematic as first seems. If a global system of regional humanitarian intervention military forces were to be established it would be entirely reasonable to assume that most funding from the UN would go to Africa and Asia as these regions contain the majority of conflicts. Whilst little funding would go to relatively peaceful regions like Europe, even expecting funding to come from wealthier regions that can maintain their own military force without UN assistance.

It is not necessary that a regional standing force for humanitarian intervention be formed as part of or by a continental union like the EU or AU. Although the AU encompasses all African states, the EU only contains 28 member states (soon to be 27) whereas the European continent contains 47 countries. There are clear benefits to building the regional force as part of a continental union, namely that it provides supporting infrastructure for the intervention force and being part of a wider union encourages member states to take ownership of regional issues such as conflicts in other states. For example, Adebahr (2013) speculates that had the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia ‘merely shed its “Socialist” prefix’, avoided disintegration and applied for membership of the EU in 1991 alongside Austria, Sweden and Finland then the EU would have acted quicker to prevent the bloodshed that was experienced within the former Yugoslav Republic during the 1990s. Nonetheless, should a regional intervention force be established as part of a union it would not be unreasonable to expect this force to have responsibility for interventions in conflicts in non-union neighbouring states or for membership of the regional force to be extended to those states within the continent but outside the union.

Although they lack the supporting infrastructure that continental unions provide, alternative regional groupings for a humanitarian intervention force could potentially be along continental lines or along geopolitical lines, based upon the current UN Regional Groups of Member States consisting of the African Group, Asia-Pacific Group, Eastern Europe Group, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC), and the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) (United Nations Department for General Assembly and Conference Management, 2014). It is likely that any attempt to form a regional force in Eastern Europe and in Asia-Pacific would face heavy opposition from Russia and China respectively as they have both been highly critical of the intervention in Libya, vetoed intervention attempts in Syria and maintain ‘the inviolability of national sovereignty’ as the fundamental basis of international order (Averre & Davis, 2015: 832). Despite the power of these states their involvement is not required for a regional force to be effective as weaker states can pool resources and may receive further support from the UN and the wider international community.

The relationship between the UNSC and the regional intervention force must also be clarified. As noted above the prospect of UNSC reform to a model of regional representation is highly unlikely in the near-future, yet there are promising proposals regarding the role of regional organisations within the UNSC. These proposals include Pakistan pushing for a permanent Islamic and Arab UNSC seat, French and African support for an African seat and, the most likely proposal to come to fruition in the near-future, a potential seat for the EU (Clottey, 2010; Goodenough, 2010). Jhawar (2004) advocates for a gradual expansion of the UNSC through the conditional granting of permanent seats to regional organisations, beginning with the EU, effectively downgrading the P5 by diluting the veto power and providing closer links between individual nations and the UN. A more probable proposal is the replacement of France as a permanent member of the UNSC with the EU. Although France would likely prove reluctant to give up its seat, Denny (2010) argues that the global influence afforded by a UNSC seat is not justified by the current French military, political and economic ranking in the world, and points to the fact that France is a champion of European unity that arguably already exercises greater political influence through the EU than nationally.

The UNSC inclusion of regional organisations is preferable and should be consistently promoted by regional organisations but it is not immediately necessary. According to Articles 51 and 52 of the UN Charter, military actions by regional organisations is only legitimate without UNSC authorisation when there is armed attack against a member of the regional organisation. Buchanan (2003: 166) asks the question of whether a customary norm allowing for regional intervention under Article 52 without UNSC involvement would be an improvement and answers negatively, citing that a norm such as this would be too liable to abuse by military alliances like NATO. Yet, asking this question again, this time about a regional humanitarian intervention force based on ethical cosmopolitan principles as outlined above, then the answer is positive as this force is more justified to intervene in situations where UNSC authorisation was not attainable. As a regional force established for the purposes of rapidly responding to humanitarian emergencies, the decision to intervene should be made by the regional authority, with the UNSC acting as a check on this power through close monitoring of the situation but without a veto power. Thus, if the AU Assembly were to authorise an intervention, pursuant to Article 4 (h) and (j) of the AU Constitutive Act which provide the legal basis for intervention by the Union, then this intervention could be deemed legal and appropriate.

3.5 Conclusion

Overall, as the preferred and most feasible conception of a standing force for humanitarian intervention, a regional intervention force would act on the legal basis of a cosmopolitan interpretation of R2P as outlined in section 3.2, maintaining a responsibility understanding of sovereignty. It would preferably be built within the wider framework of a continental union as this provides the democratic accountability required to ensure the appropriate deployment of the force, as demonstrated by the analysis of a global cosmopolitan force. The regional intervention force has been shown to be capable of functioning within the current international order and international law.


Building on the context of the current state of humanitarian intervention within international relations as outlined in the introduction and the contextual background of a cosmopolitan approach provided in the first chapter, this dissertation outlined a path to a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention within an international order that remains fundamentally state-centric. Ultimately, though, the definitive test of the feasibility of such a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention would be if applied to a war-torn country in an unstable region, with a high level of casualties and an oppressive government holding on to power with the backing of powerful international actors. The test would then be to apply the cosmopolitan approach to intervention in Syria. Naturally this is a purely speculative exercise but it serves as a valuable example through which the potential effectiveness of a clear cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention can be summarily demonstrated.

First, in applying the ethical cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention outlined in chapter two, it must be demonstrated at what point the threshold would have been met. Even with or without an established regional intervention force as the intervening actor, the threshold remains the same as outlined in section 2.2, it is moderately high and can be summarized as the active widespread infringement of individual autonomy by a state. Under the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention the threshold in Syria would have likely been met just under two years in to the war in Spring 2013. At this point the Syrian government had lost regional support with the Arab League suspending it in November 2011 for failure to abide by a peace deal, both sides in the conflict had also failed to abide by UN envoy Kofi Annan’s six-point peace plan, fighting had become widespread in Damascus and Syria’s largest city Aleppo, and the number of refugees reached 1 million (Alaraby 2012). The increasing violence of the conflict and the subsequent refugee creation qualify as active widespread infringement of individual autonomy whilst the failure of peace deals satisfies crucial Jus ad Bellum criteria like the principle of last resort. Of course, it is easier to determine when the threshold for intervention was met in hindsight, nevertheless there is still some value in doing so and it must be noted that if there was to have been an intervention in spring 2013 following the cosmopolitan approach, that this is prior to the chemical attacks by the government in August 2013.

In accordance with section 2.3, an intervening party would respect the rights of their own citizens and would preferably be a multilateral force from a regional organisation or a multilateral grouping of neighbouring states, failing that interveners may be multilateral non-regional actors or military alliances, and failing that they may be a rights-respecting state with primarily humanitarian objectives and the capability to implement a successful unilateral humanitarian intervention. Applied to Syria, the clear regional candidate for this intervention force would be the Arab League. However, it would not qualify due to the requirement that interveners respect the rights of their own citizens, with the Arab League being a ‘latecomer’ amongst regional organisations ‘in prescribing and promoting governance standards in its member states’, whilst its efforts to promote human rights are generally weaker (van Hüllen, 2015: 135). Rather, the most suitable interveners in the case of Syria would have been the EU as a rights-respecting regional organisation, with advanced regional military coordination and an interest in ending the conflict to prevent the refugee flow from Syria in to Europe. How the EU would carry out this intervention cannot be said here as this is to be judged as a military operation. Although, as per section 2.4 in planning this military operation the principles of Jus in Bello must be adhered to in accordance with ethical cosmopolitan principles, particularly the universality of individuals, whilst also balancing this against the effectiveness of operations in bringing an end to rights abuses.

Following the ethical approach of chapter two, had the institutional advances outlined in chapter three been established to compliment this ethical approach then the intervention would undoubtedly be even more successful. Taking in to account the legal institutional cosmopolitan changes advocated in section 3.2, the R2P framework and international judicial institutions like the ICJ and ICC would be utilized to determine, through an ethical cosmopolitan approach, when the threshold for intervention was met and other legal issues. The immediate future of a cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention lies in the development of a regional force. Not only has there been consistent support for the development of regional standing forces within both the AU and EU, efforts are already advanced and ready to be implemented. A regional humanitarian intervention force does not require institutional upheavals to the extent that is required in developing a global cosmopolitan force, rather chapter three details how a regional force is capable of abiding by international law and functioning in the current international order. An established regional intervention force would most likely come in the form of a Middle Eastern regional intervention force established as a sub-region of a wider Asian force, similar to the structure that the AU has currently established as highlighted in section 3.4. A notable benefit of this regional intervention force carrying out the intervention is the prevention of the hijacking of the conflict and its potential manipulation in to a proxy war between powerful forces, like the US and Russia, as has been the case in Syria. If the institutional advances of chapter three were to be established to implement the ethical approach of chapter two, this would result in a clear and effective approach to humanitarian intervention that would not only prevent the escalation of and atrocities in deadly wars like Syria, but also save countless individuals lives.


Ultimately, to establish sustainable and effective regional humanitarian intervention forces continental unions must be developed in North America and Asia, alongside continual development of USAN, the AU and the EU. Despite being dealt a blow by Britain leaving the EU, the union must continue towards further integration and maintain its status as an example for other continental unions to follow. With this, the development of regional forces within both the AU and EU, as outlined in chapter three, must be reinforced through deployment and defended by the unions as an integral part of efforts to maintain international peace and security, consequently dismantling the current system of uncertainty and ad hoc interventions.

These institutional developments like the creation and enlargement of unions must be done so with the aim of nurturing a cosmopolitan consciousness both at the individual and state level. Without a cosmopolitan awareness constructed through efforts to reengineer citizenship the institutional developments and ethical approaches advocated above cannot be sustained or successful. This should be a constant and enduring objective within the wider ethical and institutional cosmopolitan efforts at both state and individual level.

In the long term, the UN framework should also be reformed, to give a fairer reflection of the international order as it shifts towards a post-Westphalian order. The UNSC in particular needs reform and a regional model, as discussed in section 3.3, should be pursued. Despite being deemed a step too far, too soon in section 3.3 because of a lack of necessary institutional advances, efforts to establish a UN standing force in some capacity should also continue. Should these recommendations be followed and the cosmopolitan approach to humanitarian intervention as outlined in this dissertation be established it would certainly benefit efforts to secure international peace and markedly improve global individual security.


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Is a Cosmopolitan Approach to Humanitarian Intervention feasible within the current International Order
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