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Humanitarian intervention in the post-cold war era : a postcolonial critique on new interventionism

Lunds universitet/Mänskliga rättighetsstudier
Publication Date
  • Sovereignty
  • Postcolonialism
  • Imperialism
  • Humanitarian Intervention
  • Post Cold War
  • Mänskliga Rättigheter
  • Human Rights
  • Law And Political Science
  • Law


The collapse of the Soviet Union saw a shift in the way the international community perceived humanitarian interventions and the principles of sovereignty. With the world no longer divided along ideological lines, the United Nations found itself drawn into conflicts of a different nature, which resulted in the development of a new ‘norm’ of intervention, which saw human rights being promoted to the detriment of state sovereignty. This paper aims to highlight the emergence of what is described as ‘new interventionism’ that has developed in the post Cold War era. An analysis of humanitarian intervention through a postcolonial perspective aims to uncover the motives behind certain interventions, to determine whether they are based solely on humanitarian grounds, or if they are influenced by the interests of the state or international actor involved.

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