Why the international community should have intervened in Rwanda. The Rwandan Genocide was a genocidal mass slaughter of ethnic Tutsis by ethnic Hutus that took place in 1994. 20 years on, Kassner contends that the violation of the basic human rights of the Rwandan Tutsis morally obliged the international community to intervene militarily to stop the genocide. This compelling argument, grounded in basic rights, runs counter to the accepted view on the moral nature of humanitarian intervention. It is a new approach to the intersection of human and sovereign rights that is of tremendous moral, political and legal importance to theorists working in international relations today. It challenges the immutability of the right of non-intervention held by sovereign states, assessing when it becomes right for the international community to intervene militarily in order to avoid another Rwanda.
Joshua James Kassner is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Baltimore.
Introduction: Brief History and Overview; 1. The Rwandan Genocide; 2. My Project: The Failure of the International Community to Intervene in Rwanda; 3. Overview; 4. Conclusion; Part I - The Groundwork for a Moral Obligation of Humanitarian Intervention; 1. Making Conceptual Room: Responding to the Skeptic; 2. Making Conceptual Room: Responding to the Noninterventionist; 3. Methodology: Why a Standard of Reasonable Deniability; 4. Constitutive Elements of a Moral Obligation of Humanitarian Intervention; 5. Conclusion; Part II - Defending a Moral Obligation of Humanitarian Intervention; 1. Critical Assessment of Alternative Accounts; 2. The Basic Right to Physical Security: Explication and Analysis; 3. Charity or Justice; 4. Additional Considerations; 5. Conclusion: Statement and Application of Principle; Part III: The Normative Framework of International Relations; 1. The Normative Framework of International Relations, State Sovereignty, and the Right of Nonintervention; 2. Justifying the Right of Nonintervention; 3. Critically Assessing the Justificatory Arguments; 4. Reconstructing the Normative Framework: Lessons Learned; 5. Reasons in Support of a Presumption of Nonintervention; 6. Conclusion: Reconstruction of the Normative Framework; Part IV: Completing the Transition from Theory to Practice; 1. Explication of the Responsibility to Protect; 2. Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect; 3. Critically Assessing the ICISS Recommendations for Institutionalization; 4. Normative Guideposts for an Alternative Institutional Structure; 5. A Reformed Normative Framework; Conclusion: Application of the Reformed Normative Framework and Concluding Remarks.