International Intervention in an Age of Crisis and Terror: U.N. Reform and Regional Practice
Tulane Journal of International and Comparative Law, Vol. 15, 2006
38 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2011
Date Written: October 20, 2006
Recent international differences of opinion, first over the Iraq War and then over U.N. reform, have signaled competing national and regional perceptions of international security and military intervention across the globe. These perceptions go beyond policy to encompass the basic worldviews held by key international actors. Similar differences have been apparent in recent years in respect to a number of conflicts that have spawned humanitarian crises and called for military intervention. In the post-Cold War era, two related types of wars have particularly stirred this cauldron: military interventions for humanitarian purposes and allegedly defensive wars thought to be connected to the 'war on terrorism.' A central concern in these two areas where worldviews collide relates to the principles of sovereignty and nonintervention. The locus of the collision over the meaning of these concepts has generally been the United Nations Security Council. This Article offers three representative perspectives on sovereignty, those of the United States, China, and the European Union. I have labeled these 'new sovereigntism,' 'old sovereigntism' and 'transnationalism,' respectively. The latter EU perspective has also been shared to a considerable degree by the U.N. leadership, as reflected in the recent U.N.-led efforts at reform best captured in the 2004 U.N. Report, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility. The substantial failure of that effort in the 2005 World Summit well represents this collision of views. The way we deal with state collapse and resultant humanitarian crises has increasing implications for the broader questions of international security and human rights. The United Nations has often performed poorly in addressing such crises. This Article suggests a two- track effort to address this problem, embodying continuing global efforts at U.N. reform and, on the second track, a more vigorous 'constitutive approach' at the regional level.
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