Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

Foreign Affairs Article

The Responsibility to Protect

Authors: Gareth Evans and Mohamed Sahnoun

Throughout the humanitarian crises of the 1990s, the international community failed to come up with rules on how and when to intervene, and under whose authority. Despite the new focus on terrorism, these debates will not go away. The issue must be reframed as an argument not about the "right to intervene" but about the "reponsibility to protect" that all sovereign states owe to their citizens.

See more in Global; International Law; Humanitarian Intervention

Foreign Affairs Article

Somalia and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention

Authors: Walter Clarke and Jeffrey Herbst

The intervention in Somalia was not an abject failure; an estimated 100,000 lives were saved. But its mismanagement should be an object lesson for peacekeepers in Bosnia and on other such missions. No large intervention, military or humanitarian, can remain neutral or assuredly brief in a strife-torn failed state. Nation-building, the rebuilding of a state's basic civil institutions, is required in fashioning a self-sustaining body politic out of anarchy. In the future, the United States, the United Nations, and other intervenors should be able to declare a state "bankrupt" and go in to restore civic order and foster reconciliation.

See more in Somalia; Humanitarian Intervention