Human Rights, EU integration and International Regimes

Realism and Humanitarian Intervention

  • Human rights is a soft power at best - core concerns for Realists involve pursuit of security and power.
  • Human Rights and Humanitarian intervention not a high priority - only taken into account when it affects the nation-state and their pursuit of power or maintanence of security.
  • For example, the US proclaiming they set out on humanitarian intervention programmes to liberate citizens - The invasion of Iraq - done on the open proclamation of human rights - but in reality, they invaded to gain control of rich oil fields present in Iraq and prevent other states from using them.
  • Bush also wanted to invade as a show of display and develop a new world order post 9/11.
  • In order to maintain security - state are unlikely to intervene solely for humanitarian purposes - they will not place citizens at risk to protect foreigners.
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Liberalism and Humanitarian Intervention

  • Liberalism stresses the importance of cooperation and the work of international organisations and institutions.
  • Human rights is a key liberal value and liberals believe in the unversality of liberal principles.
  • HR is universal based on the notion of universal morality and natural rights.

They argue that there is a moral claim for intervention - all humans entitled to basic protection from common humanity.

  • A group of states and NGO's attempted to build consensus around the doctrine 'Responsibility to protect'. - This involves states having the primary responsiblity to protect their own citizens against genocides, war crimes etc. However if the state cannot do so, responsibility is transferred to the international community. (Acting through the UN)

Principles of the R2P and intervention are to be applied selectively.

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Critical Theory and Humanitarian Intervention

  • (Social Constructivism) Will argue that HR is a product of liberal political philosophy - prinicples of human rights are socially constructed and a Western product.
  • (Race in IR) - it is a Western construct - it has only been non-western countries generally that have been the recipients of HI - example -
  • It is a hegemonic concept - enforced by certain states.
  • (Poststructuralism) - construction and exploitation of the dichotomy of us/them - there is superiority of the West and biased against the non-west.

Relates to the concept of Orientalism - the constructed notion of the inability of non-western countries to be able to govern themselves - needs the West to intervene.

  • Arguably HI is not humanitarian - with the use of military intervention - using weapons to achieve peace?

States may see HI as a 'trojan horse' - a way to legitimate forceful intervention in weakers states by stronger states - traditionally those in the West.

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Criticism of Humanitarian Intervention

  • The problem of defining exactly when to intervene - who is this decided by?

Other states are reluctant to adopt humanitarian intervention - this is mostly Western states - indeed the Security Council is made of 4/5 Western states - all who have shown a disregard to commit to IR:

  • Russia - suppression of Chechen uprisings.
  • China - treatment of religious minorities and oppression in Tibet, Tiananmen Square.
  • US - Atom Bomb on Japanese civilians, invasion of Iraq, Guantanamo Bay.

Risk of exploitation of HI and the R2P doctrine - may be used as a cover for intervention in order to exploit resources of gain control of territory - see US example of Iraq invasion. 

  • It is also a double standard - there would likely be outrage if a southern state decided to take action due to the violence against Black people in the US. 
  • In addition - HI doesn't save lives in the long run - it is difficult to build peace once the short term damage has been resolved - e.g. intervention in Kosovo prevented mass displacement and killing of Albanians but NATO operations resulted in 1,300-1,700 dead civilians + combatants.


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EU integration - Theories Part 1

Liberalism - 

  • Must be a movement to achieve federation of EU status.
  • The key aim of the EU project should be a common defense and foreign policy
  • Shared values and principles lead to increased integration - the movement carried forward by statesman and social groups - not just states themselves.

Neoliberalism -

  • Integration and creation of the regional organisations helps to foster cooperation and helps ensure all states play by the same rules.
  • States will sacrifice short term goals as they expect future reciprocation.
  • No deep transformation of society.
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EU integration - Theories Part 2

(Neo) Realism - 

  • Integration occurs in the interest of tbe most powerful state.
  • Cold War  system allowed EU integration under US security umbrella.
  • One aim - to prevent future German agression and rescue the nation-state in the case of increasing independence - maintain it's prominance.
  • Integration will fail if it at some point is no longer the interest of member states - they are doing this for a security/power advantage.

English School - 

  • EU as a ‘normative power’ in international relations Norm 
  • Socialisation role of the EU: shift of member state identitiesand enlargement policy
  • Common constructions of interests, identities, threats/challenges
  • Role of institutional framework; EU as dense international society
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Democratic Peace Theory

Essentially: Democracies don't fight each other!DPT is a key part of Wester foreign policy.

Why don't democracies fight each other?:

  • The government in a democracy is more constitutional.
  • People dislike war as a rule - unless it is justified.
  • The common interests of democracies make them interdependent.
  • Democratic norms among states - both internal and external.

Consequences of DPT/How democracies deal with non-democratic states? -

  • May carry out military intervention to change regimes (may couch it as a humanitarian mission - link to HI).
  • Support and stabilise new democracies.
  • Supporting of democratic movements in domestic civil societies.
  • Provision of soft incentives for democratic change.

Spreading of democracy and 'universal values' could be interpreted as imperial - West expanding their hegemony and power under provision of 'democracy' and liberal values.

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International Regimes Part 1

What is a regime? - Set of implicit/explicit procedures, norms, rules and decision-making procedures around which actor's expectations converge in a given area of IR.

Analysis of regimes -

Liberal -

  • Regimes allow state cooperation.
  • They promote the common good.
  • They flourish best when promoted by a begnin hegemon.
  • They promote globalisation and a world order.

Realism -

  • Enable states to coordinate.
  • Generates differential benefits for states.
  • Power is a central feature of regime formation and survival.
  • Nature of world order depends upon underlying principle and norms of regimes.
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International Regimes Part 2

Common analysis of both sides - 

  • States operate in an anarchic international system.
  • States are rational and unitary actors.
  • Regimes established on the basis of cooperation in the int. system.
  • States are the units responsible for establishing regimes.
  • Regimes promote int. order.

Types of Regimes - 

  • Security - Allows states to escape security dilemmas e.g. SALT talks and the NPT.
  • Environmental - To protect and preserve the environment e.g. convention on biodiversity.
  • Economic - Governs int. and domestic economy - US consolidates sets of regimes based liberal principles - WTO, IMF etc.

Regimes can be classified into how formal they are and the degree of expectation that agreements will be observed - this can be full-blown, tacit and dead-letter 

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The facilitation of regime formation

Liberal Institutionalists - 

  • Draw on microecon - proliferation of public bads occurs due to uncooperation and sovereign states preparing to compete.
  • A hegemonic actor may sustain the cost of producing a public good - established regimes survive
  • Game theory - a dilemma in that states do not know if other states will cooperate or act on own interests - is there a benefit.
  • Future games will be played - collaboration necessary to allow optimal outcome.

Realists -

  • Power goes hand-in-hand with regimes - if a regime is against the interest of a 3rd world state they will have to do something to shift the BoP in its favour.
  • Goes against the US being a benign benefactor - hegemons can effectively veto the creation of a new regime.
  • Maintains long-term interests. 
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Regimes and coordination

In creating a regime, states need coordination and cooperation - sometimes difficult.               The BoP still falls mainly to the West.  

Liberal -

  • Regimes arise due to the danger in the international system that compe***ive strategies will trump cooperative ones.
  • Implications for power - Hegemon uses this to pressure other states into collaborating and conforming with the regime. Pursued due to the shadow of the future - ***-for-tat retaliation.

Realist - 

  • Desire to cooperate but anarchy generates problems with coordination.
  • Implications for power - Power is crucial in bargaining processes to determine the regime shape.
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