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Title: Kosovo, Libya and the problem with depoliticisation in the theory and practice of post-cold war humanitarian intervention
Authors: Karkour, Haro Libarid L.
Supervisors: McCormack, Tara
Daddow, Oliver
Award date: 1-Mar-2016
Presented at: University of Leicester
Abstract: The key challenge humanitarian intervention is facing when protecting a universal human rights, is that it allows the intervener that defines its interest in terms of the ethical end, that is, universal human rights, to transcend the political – defined in terms of actors with different socio-political aims – that is, to depoliticise its actions. This act of depoliticisation in humanitarian intervention allows the intervener to ignore the role of power in politics – that is, to mutually adjust and settle the different socio-political aims – and thus not to be enquired about the restraint necessary in the pursuit of its own socio-political aims against other states. The main question of the thesis is: can the act of depoliticisation in humanitarian intervention protect universal human rights in the post-Cold War era? To answer this question, this thesis uses the humanitarian interventions in Kosovo in 1999 and Libya in 2011 as examples, and argues that when the act of depoliticisation in post- Cold War humanitarian intervention attempts to transcend the political, it presents the interests of the intervening actors in a manner that blurs the distinction between what they accept as universal human rights in theory and their practice of humanitarian intervention that presents their own socio-political aims, namely, to advance one mode of the pursuit of human rights that entails their decision to support one ally in the target state, and to confine universal human rights to their rights, while denying it to the alienated party. Having blurred this distinction, when depoliticisation in the theory and practice of post-Cold War humanitarian intervention ignores the role of power in politics, in practice, it justifies the status quo of the exclusionary force that imposes one mode of pursuit of human rights in the target state, based on the socio-political aims of the intervener. It, thus, presents a paradox that undermines the role of humanitarian intervention to protect universal human rights in the post-Cold War era, as states, with their clashing socio-political aims, use force to protect the human rights of their allies rather than universal human rights.
Type: Thesis
Level: Doctoral
Qualification: PhD
Rights: Copyright © the author. All rights reserved.
Appears in Collections:Theses, Dept. of Politics and International Relations
Leicester Theses

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