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Is the practice of humanitarian intervention compatible with an international system that is based on the principle of state sovereignty?

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Is the practice of humanitarian intervention compatible with an international system that is based on the principle of state sovereignty? Ever since World War II, after the horrifying period of Adolph Hitler's homicidal persecution of the Jews, state leaders have been receiving new found pressure from both media and the public due to humanitarian sentiment and increasing awareness, regarding their power and capabilities in making decisions which can pose danger against humanity within their borders. Nevertheless, the practice of humanitarian intervention remained controversial concerning its legitimacy. According to state's argument of state sovereignty, Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a territory, and that the practice of humanitarian interventions have breached the principle of state sovereignty (Bueno, 2009). The controversy grew over recent post cold war conflicts and the question of whether the practice of humanitarian intervention is compatible with an international system based on the principle of state sovereignty. State sovereignty is said to be the most important factor and the fundamental foundation of international relationship base on the anarchical system of the current world, as there is no existence of a supreme world government. ...read more.


Despite of breaching Article 2.4 of the UN Charter (Baylis and Smith, 2001), NATO proceeded with their campaign against the critics who argued that doing so means breaking the universally applied laws of state sovereignty and non intervention.The actions of NATO were not condemned by the Security Council, and thus furthermore undermining the international laws preserving state sovereignty as undermining the power of the Security Council. Regarding this controversy, Professor Cedric Thornberry stated "failure to comply with existing rules must inevitably bring about a wider condition of disrespect for the law and, with it, a tendency to anarchy" (Schotle, 2000) President Boris Yeltsin also commented corresponding to this view "an action that is nothing short of undisguised aggression... Only the UN Security Council has the right to decide the use of force should be taken to maintain or restore international peace and security"(Bueno, 2009) On the other hand, supporters of intervention deem NATO's actions were morally justified by arguing that it would be international community's negligence not taking any action to defend the norms of human rights, and that massive violations of human rights are taking place, it is no longer a domestic matter and thus deserve the concern of the international community. ...read more.


To answer the question whether the practice humanitarian intervention is compatible with an international system based on the principle of sovereignty, many critics argue it is the end for state sovereignty as the current world has shifted into a new paradigm where human rights become the priority. However, sovereignty will not cease to exist as long as there are borders between nations, instead, sovereignty calls for a reassessment for its definition in order to cope with the globalization of human rights. Word Count: 1396 BAYLIS, JOHN and SMITH, STEVE (2001). The Globalization of World Politics 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp 72-93 BUENO DE MESQUITA, BRUCE (2009). Principles of International Politics. 4th ed. Washington DC: CQ Press. pp 124-136 HEYWOOD, ANDREW (2002). Politics. 2nd ed. London: Palgrave Macmillan. pp 232-234 JACKSON, ROBERT and SORENSEN, GEORGE (2003). Introduction to International Relations. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp 578. SCHOLTE, JAN AART (2000). Globalization a critical introduction. United States of America: ST Martin's Press. pp 56 WHITMAN, JIM. (2001). When is it right to intervene?. New Humanist Magazine. 116 (1), 16. KIERNAN, BEN (2002). The Pol Pot Regime, New York: Yale University Press pp 44 Benny Iu IR Foundation Campus 5/3/2011 Lulwa Al-Fadhel ...read more.

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