Ten new essays critique the practice armed humanitarian intervention, and the 'Responsibility to Protect' doctrine that advocates its use under certain circumstances. The contributors investigate the causes and consequences, as well as the uses and abuses, of armed humanitarian intervention. One enduring concern is that such interventions are liable to be employed as a foreign policy instrument by powerful states pursuing geo-political interests. Some of the
chapters interrogate how the presence of ulterior motives impact on the moral credentials of armed humanitarian intervention. Others shine a light on the potential adverse effects of such interventions, even where they are motivated primarily by humanitarian concern. The volume also tracks the evolution of
the R2P norm, and draws attention to how it has evolved, for better or for worse, since UN member states unanimously accepted it over a decade ago. In some respects the norm has been distorted to yield prescriptions, and to impose constraints, fundamentally at odds with the spirit of the R2P idea. This gives us all the more reason to be cautious of unwarranted optimism about humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect.
C. A. J. Coady is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University of Melbourne and Honorary Professor at the Australian Catholic University. His books include the influential Testimony: A Philosophical Study (1992) and the widely cited Morality and Political Violence (2008). In 2005, he gave the Uehiro Lectures on Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford, subsequently published as Messy Morality: the Challenge of Politics (2008). Dr. Ned Dobos is Senior Lecturer in International and Political Studies at UNSW Canberra. He is the author of Insurrection and Intervention (Cambridge University Press, 2012), and The New Pacifism (Oxford University Press, forthcoming). Dr. Dobos was a Visiting Scholar with the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and is a Senior Global Justice Fellow at the MacMillan Centre for International Studies at Yale. He is currently Assistant Regional Director of the International Society for Military Ethics, Asia-Pacific Division. Dr Sanyal's primary interests are in political economy and Marxist philosophy. He has published in forums such as Journal of Philosophy, Bioethics, Philosophy Compass, and Social Scientist. He co-edited The Ethics of Human Enhancement, (OUP, 2016).