Selective Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Reason and Collective Agents

Journal of Global Ethics 8 (1):63-76 (2012)
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Abstract

This paper examines four interpretations of the observation that humanitarian intervention might be used ‘selectively’ or ‘inconsistently’ in order to elucidate the normative commitments of the deliberative process in international relations. The paper argues that there are several types of concerns that are implicit in the accusation of inconsistency, and only some of them amount to objections to humanitarian intervention as a whole. The paradox of humanitarian intervention is that intervention is prohibited except where the intervention is humanitarian, yet humanitarian reasons never exist in isolation, and it is nearly impossible to determine the real reason for intervention (or any other collective action) in the international arena. The problems revealed by an examination of inconsistency in the example of humanitarian intervention turn out to be general problems with applying the norms of practical reasoning to moral questions dealing with collective agents.

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Citations of this work

Global justice, sovereignty, and the problem of perspective.Jennifer Szende - 2021 - Journal of International Political Theory 17 (1):99-116.
Global justice, sovereignty, and the problem of perspective.Jennifer Szende - 2021 - Journal of International Political Theory 17 (1):99-116.

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References found in this work

What we owe to each other.Thomas Scanlon - 1998 - Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
What We Owe to Each Other.Thomas Scanlon - 2002 - Mind 111 (442):323-354.
The Idea of Human Rights.Charles R. Beitz - 2009 - Oxford University Press.
The Corporation as a Moral Person.Peter A. French - 1979 - American Philosophical Quarterly 16 (3):207 - 215.

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