Perspectives on Politics

Book Review of All Necessary Measures: The UN and Humanitarian Intervention

The new issue of Perspectives on Politics (14: 1) contains my book review of All Necessary Measures: The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention by Carrie Booth Walling (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013).

From the review: The challenges of “humanitarian intervention” have been of pressing concern to policymakers and academics ever since the end of the bipolar confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union. This became most evident when the international community failed to respond decisively to the genocide in Rwanda,despite having forces on the ground, as well as when it did not stop the atrocities of the Bosnian to its fate and when “safe havens” in Srebrenica were attacked and overrun by Serbian forces. In other conflicts, the UN Security Council did authorize a military response using “all necessary means,” as in Somalia, Sierra Leone, and, as the most recent humanitarian rights violations continues to haunt the international community, most visibly in the deadlock of the Security Council in the face of the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

In All Necessary Measures, Carrie Booth Walling explores the social construction and evolution of humanitarian intervention discourse and subsequent action at the the likelihood of force being used in defense of human rights by constructing narratives about the character and cause of a conflict. [Read Further]