Humanitarian Intervention
Humanitarian Intervention, 3rd Edition

A singular development in the post-Cold War era is the use of military force to protect human beings. From Rwanda to Kosovo, Sierra Leone to East Timor, and Libya to Côte d’Ivoire, soldiers have rescued civilians in some of the world's most notorious war zones. But what about Syria? Why have we observed the Syrian slaughter and done nothing? Is humanitarian intervention in crisis? Is the so-called responsibility to protect dead or alive?

In this fully revised and expanded third edition of his highly accessible and popular text, Thomas Weiss explores these compelling questions. Drawing on a wide range of case studies and providing a persuasive overview of the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention in the modern world, he examines its political, ethical, legal, strategic, economic, and operational dimensions to highlight key debates and controversies. Neither celebratory nor complacent, his analysis is an engaging exploration of the current quandaries and future challenges for robust international humanitarian action in the twenty-first century.

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  • April 2016
  • 272 pages
  • 150 x 210 mm / 6 x 8 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $69.95
  • 9781509507313
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509507320
  • Open eBook $69.95
  • 9781509507351
Table of Contents
  • About the Author
  • Foreword to the Third Edition by Gareth Evans
  • Preface and Acknowledgments
  • List of Abbreviations
  • Introduction
  • 1 Conceptual Building Blocks
  • 2 “Humanitarian” Interventions: Thumbnail Sketches
  • 3 New Wars and New Humanitarianisms
  • 4 New Thinking: The Responsibility to Protect
  • 5 So What? Moving from Rhetoric to Reality
  • Notes
  • Selected Readings
  • Index
About the Author
THOMAS G. WEISS is Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies. He has published over forty books including Global Governance and the UN: An Unfinished Journey and UN Ideas that Changed the World.
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“Thomas Weiss’s book is a thorough and responsible account of humanitarian intervention viewed from the ground, where it really matters.”
Fernando R. Tesón, Florida State University College of Law

“Tom Weiss again demonstrates his unique talent for bringing conceptual clarity and rigorous analysis to pressing and messy real-world dilemmas. Protecting endangered people abroad raises thorny issues – politically, practically, and ethically. This engaging book offers a conceptual guide to understanding these dilemmas, and the author’s application of these concepts to contemporary humanitarian emergencies will be useful to both scholars and practitioners alike. It will continue to be an essential book for anyone interested in humanitarian action.”
Martha Finnemore, The George Washington University

‘In 267 pages, Weiss manages to discuss not only the historical evolution of humanitarian intervention and key case studies but also the political, ethical, legal, operational, strategic and economic dimensions of humanitarian intervention, its key challenges and suggestions on how to move forward. This book is thus a ‘must read’ not only for academics and students of international relations but also anyone interested in human protection, including policymakers.’
Australian Institute of International Affairs

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