Humanitarian Intervention, Refugee Protection, and the Place of Humanitarianism in International Relations
Thesis DisciplinePolitical Science
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
In taking into account the vast body of literature that exists on the topic of international humanitarianism, this thesis aims to provide a contribution to the field by way of an analysis of the dubious manner in which states apply the principles of humanitarianism. It derives conclusions around the level of commitment and sincerity of the international humanitarian regime to the principles of humanitarianism by exploring the dynamic relationship between the two of the main areas of humanitarianism: humanitarian intervention and refugee protection. From this analysis stems the argument is that while the governments of the wealthy Western states are often amongst the loudest trumpeters of humanitarian principles, they fail to live up to their humanitarian obligations. For, rather than committing to humanitarian action on the basis of need, they are only willing to commit to humanitarian action in cases that serve in their own national interests; cases of human suffering from which they do not stand to benefit remain caught in the margins of the international humanitarian regime.