Rise of humanitarian intervention in the 1990s

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  • Why did humanitarian intervention increase during the 1990s
    • End of the Cold War and the fall of the Soviet Union
      • Led to greater agreement on the UN Security Council over issues of humanitarian intervention
    • Wider acceptance of universalist doctrines such as human rights
    • Democratic support for welfare can increasingly be mobilised only on the basis of a moral cause
    • Increase in civil wars and state collapse
      • Stemmed from developments such as an increase in ethnic consciousness and the collapse of communism
    • An awareness of human rights issues as a consequence of globalisation
    • In a global age, states could no longer restrict their moral responsibilities to their own people (Wheeler)
    • 24/7 news, current affairs, global television coverage = public pressure
    • Impact of non-interventions - e.g. failure to prevent Rwandan Genocide and the Srebrenica Massacre
      • 'CNN  effect' - global information makes it difficult for governments to restrict their sense of moral responsibility to their own people
    • 'New world order'


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