Last Updated 31 Jan 2023

Ethical Dimension of Crisis Intervention

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The end of the Cold War has marked the beginning of a period that has seen an exponential rise of humanitarian intervention. This context gives rise to the problematic question whether foreign. Policymakers have responsibility towards citizens of other states. This essay will argue that in order to address this question. It is important to point to two set of implications related to the use of the word responsibility. On one hand, it implies a moral commitment of foreign policymakers to help. Those in needs; on the other hand, it implies. An empirical commitment benchmarked against a proofed track record demonstrating the validity of humanitarian intervention abroad. This essay will contend. That foreign policymakers do have responsibility on.

A normative level towards citizens of other states because of the importance of human rights. Alleviation of human suffering, inalienable rights of individuals. And notions relate to humanity and cosmopolitanism. However, the empirical track record of humanitarian intervention shows. That under the current institutional arrangements, as the cases of non- intervention in Rwanda and the intervention in Iraq an Afghanistan demonstrate. Humanitarian intervention is not effective and very often masks realist assumptions. As a consequence. From an empirical level of analysis foreign policymakers do not have. Responsibility towards citizens of other states, because they only run the risk of worsening the status quo of affairs.

In order to demonstrate this thesis this essay has been structured as follows: Firstly. It will offer an overview of the concept of responsibility both from a normative. And empirical perspective and it will define the concept of responsibility. As commitment to the pursuit of duties beyond borders. Secondly, this essay will highlight the perspectives of different school of thoughts. About the responsibility of foreign policymakers towards citizens of other states. And it will argue that liberal and constructivist arguments are important. Because they demonstrate that states have normative responsibilities towards citizens of other states.

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Yet realist assumptions end up prevailing on an empirical level. Thus, the statement that foreign policy makers have responsibility. Towards citizens of other states cannot be justified on empirical grounds. Thirdly, this essay will demonstrate with reference to the case study of Rwanda. That there are disastrous consequences when there is a lack of normative responsibility. Thus it is confirmed that states must have normative responsibility towards citizens of other states. Fourthly, this paper will problematize this statement and it will argue that even when there is a normative conception of responsibility it is hard to translate it into foreign policy outcomes on an empirical level, as the examples of the case studies of the intervention in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate.

In order to address the question whether foreign policy-makers have responsibility. Towards citizens of other states it is important to provide a definition of responsibility. This essay will argue that a definition of responsibility is twofold as it implied a normative and an empirical dimension. From a normative perspective it implies that foreign policy-makers ought to intervene. Towards citizens of other states when those are under threat because of ethical concerns. From an empirical perspective, this implies. That foreign policy makers have responsibility to intervene.

Towards citizens of other states because the reality of humanitarian intervention has demonstrated. That this is an effective way to protect citizens of other state. From this perspective, it is important to note that there are negative consequences both when policymakers decided to intervene, such as in the case of Rwanda, and when they intervened, such as the cases of Afghanistan and Iraq will demonstrate. That is to say, that even if from a normative perspective policy-makers have the ethical responsibility to protect citizens of other states, the empirical evidence demonstrates that it is difficult to apply ethical assumptions in reality because of limited resources and the close connection between states' interests and the willingness to commit resources and intervene.

Thus, unless reforms are undertaken in the institutional design to ensure legitimacy of international actions and to protect people against mass violence policymakers should not intervene; however, once these reforms would have been taken, it would be possible to reconcile the normative and empirical level underpinning the concept of responsibility and it will be possible for policy makers to have responsibility towards citizens of other states.

After clarifying the two main aspects underpinning the concept of responsibility it is necessary to point to what this essay mean by responsibility in general. This essay by the term responsibility this essay will mean responsibility intended as duties beyond borders. By this it is meant that states sovereignty should not be a barrier to duty beyond borders, because policy makers in the formulation of their foreign policy can follow ethics and principles, thus promoting human rights, taking part in development missions and assistance in delivering relief when needed (Pictet 1979).

According to this definition, from a normative perspective, the concept of humanity is seen as more important than the concept of sovereignty. This is based on a moral belief that individuals possess inalienable rights and that humanitarianism plays a pivotal role. Thus, this concept of responsibility links the concept of humanity to the principle of cosmopolitanism. According to this notion, moral worth applies equally to all the individuals and they are all subject to moral values (Brock and Brighouse, 2005: 4). Moreover, it is important to note that humanitarianism is considered as increasingly important because of the interdependence experienced in the age of globalisation with transnational connections and information flows, owing partly to the role of the media in Foreign Policy, that increase the awareness of the desperate circumstances of millions of people.

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