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  • Author: Valerie Morkevicius
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Arab Spring has generated a variety of responses from the West. While broad political support was voiced for uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen, the responses to protests in Bahrain and Morocco were muted. The swift decision to intervene in Libya stands in marked contrast to the ongoing hand-wringing on Syria. While political realists might see these contradictions as evidence that geopolitical concerns determine foreign policy, from an ethical point of view these responses also reveal a fundamental tension in Western thinking about rebellion. On one hand, rebellion is viewed with a distrustful eye—as a disruptive, chaotic force that threatens to destroy the day-to-day order on which civilization is built. On the other, rebellion is perceived more optimistically—as a regenerative, creative force that can leave a better civilization in its wake. These two radically disparate ways of thinking about rebellion have deep philosophical and theological roots. The pessimistic view has historically dominated just war thought, as James Turner Johnson's contribution to this roundtable illustrates; whereas the perspective of Enlightenment liberalism offers a more optimistic judgment, as found, for example, in the works of Locke and Rousseau.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Yemen, Arabia, Syria, Egypt, Morocco, Bahrain, Tunisia
  • Author: Antonio Franceschet
  • Publication Date: 04-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Within a short period the International Criminal Court (ICC) has become central to world politics. The dramatic diplomatic process that produced the Rome Statute in 1998 was followed by an unexpectedly rapid succession of state ratifications and the establishment of the court in 2002. As of late 2011 the ICC has indicted twenty-six individuals related to seven official investigations, all in Africa. Proceedings against one of these individuals were dismissed. Two other indictments, including one for Libya's Muammar Qaddafi, became moot because the individuals were killed before arrest or trial. The remaining list includes a sitting head of state, Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, as well as Kenya's sitting deputy prime minister, Uhuru Kenyatta. The United Nations Security Council referred both the Sudan and Libya situations to the court; three African states requested investigations of their own situations. The ICC prosecutor independently started an investigation in Kenya. Despite efforts by Kenyan state officials to halt ICC proceedings related to the widespread violence and killings following the 2007 national elections, opinion polls suggest that 73 percent of Kenyans want the ICC to remain involved.
  • Topic: Security
  • Political Geography: Kenya, Africa, Sudan, Libya, United Nations
  • Author: Leif Wenar
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The "resource curse" can strike countries that derive a large portion of their national income from exporting high-value natural resources, such as oil, gas, metals, and gems. Resource-exporting countries are subject to four overlapping curses: they are more prone to authoritarianism, they tend to suffer more corruption, they are at a higher risk for civil wars, and they exhibit greater economic instability. The correlations between resources and such pathologies as authoritarianism, corruption, civil conflict, and economic dysfunction are evident in the list of the five major African oil exporters: Algeria, Angola, Libya, Nigeria, and Sudan. The recent histories of mineral exporters support the correlations: for example, "blood diamonds" fueled Sierra Leone's decade-long civil war, and the continuing conflict in the metal-rich eastern Congo has caused up to 6 million deaths. The phenomenon is not solely African: Burma, Yemen, and Turkmenistan, for example, are also resource cursed. Moreover, poor governance in resource-cursed countries can engender follow-on pathologies, such as a propensity to cause environmental damage both domestically (for example, through the destruction of forests) and globally (through increased greenhouse gas emissions). Most research on the resource curse has focused on the institutions of exporting countries. This essay focuses instead on importing countries, especially those in North America and Europe. I survey how the resource curse impedes core interests of importing states. I then discuss how the policies of importing states drive the resource curse, and how these policies violate their existing international commitments. The second half of the paper describes a policy framework for importing states that can improve international trade in resources for both importers and exporters.
  • Topic: Economics
  • Political Geography: Africa, Europe, Sudan, Libya, Algeria, Burma, North America, Nigeria, Angola
  • Author: James Pattison
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The NATO-led intervention in Libya, Operation Unified Protector, is noteworthy for two central reasons. First, it is the first instance in over a decade of what Andrew Cottey calls “classical humanitarian intervention”— that is, humanitarian intervention that lacks the consent of the government of the target state, has a significant military and forcible element, and is undertaken by Western states. Not since the NATO intervention in 1999 to protect the Kosovar Albanians from ethnic cleansing has there been such an intervention. To be sure, since 2000 there have been some robust peace operations that fall in the gray area between classical humanitarian intervention and first-generation peacekeeping (such as MONUC, the UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo). But, even if these operations were to some extent forcible, they had the consent of the government of the target state.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Libya, Kosovo, Albania
  • Author: Jennifer Welsh
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: As noted by other contributors to this roundtable, the response of the international community to civilian deaths in Libya—and the threat of further mass atrocities—is unusual in two key respects. First, Security Council Resolution 1973 authorized “all necessary measures” to protect civilians without the consent of the “host” state. The Council's intentions, and actions, could not be interpreted as anything other than coercive. Second, in contrast to other crises involving alleged crimes against humanity (most notably Darfur), diplomacy produced a decisive response in a relatively short period of time. Both of these features suggest that many analysts of intervention (including myself) need to revise their previously pessimistic assessments of what is possible in contemporary international politics.
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Alex J. Bellamy
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) played an important role in shaping the world's response to actual and threatened atrocities in Libya. Not least, the adoption of Resolution 1973 by the UN Security Council on May 17, 2011, approving a no-fly zone over Libya and calling for “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, reflected a change in the Council's attitude toward the use of force for human protection purposes; and the role played by the UN's new Joint Office on the Prevention of Genocide and the Responsibility to Protect points toward the potential for this new capacity to identify threats of mass atrocities and to focus the UN's attention on preventing them. Given the reluctance of both the Security Council and the wider UN membership even to discuss RtoP in the years immediately following the 2005 World Summit—the High-level Plenary Meeting of the 60th Session of the General Assembly that gave birth to RtoP—these two facts suggest that significant progress has been made thanks to the astute stewardship of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is personally committed to the principle. Where it was once a term of art employed by a handful of likeminded countries, activists, and scholars, but regarded with suspicion by much of the rest of the world, RtoP has become a commonly accepted frame of reference for preventing and responding to mass atrocities.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: James Pattison
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Wars and interventions bring to the fore certain ethical issues. For instance, NATO's intervention in Kosovo in 1999 raised questions about the moral import of UN Security Council authorization (given that the Council did not authorize the action), and the means employed by interveners (given NATO's use of cluster bombs and its targeting of dual-use facilities). In what follows, I consider the moral permissibility of the NATO-led intervention in Libya and suggest that this particular intervention highlights three issues for the ethics of humanitarian intervention in general. The first issue is whether standard accounts of the ethics of humanitarian intervention, which draw heavily on just war theory, can capture the prospect of mission creep. The second issue is whether epistemic difficulties in assessing the intervention's likely long-term success mean that we should reject consequentialist approaches to humanitarian intervention. The third issue concerns selectivity. I outline an often overlooked way that selectivity can be problematic for humanitarian intervention.
  • Political Geography: Libya, Kosovo
  • Author: Simon Chesterman
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: Humanitarian intervention has always been more popular in theory than in practice. In the face of unspeakable acts, the desire to do something, anything, is understandable. States have tended to be reluctant to act on such desires, however, leading to the present situation in which there are scores of books and countless articles articulating the contours of a right—or even an obligation—of humanitarian intervention, while the number of cases that might be cited as models of what is being advocated can be counted on one hand.
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Thomas G. Weiss
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: With the exception of Raphael Lemkin's efforts on behalf of the 1948 Genocide Convention, no idea has moved faster in the international normative arena than “the responsibility to protect” (RtoP), which was formulated in 2000 by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS). Friends and foes have pointed to the commission's conceptual contribution to reframing sovereignty as contingent rather than absolute, and to establishing a framework for forestalling or stopping mass atrocities via a three-pronged responsibility—to prevent, to react, and to rebuild. But until the international military action against Libya in March 2011, the sharp end of the RtoP stick—the use of military force—had been replaced by evasiveness and skittishness from diplomats, scholars, and policy analysts.
  • Political Geography: Libya
  • Author: Kirsten Ainley
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The twentieth century saw the unprecedented individualization, legalization, and criminalization of responsibility in international relations. At the start of the century, if any agent was held responsible in the international sphere for harm resulting from conflict or war, it was the state, and states were held politically (rather than legally, for the most part) responsible for their acts by other states. By the end of the century individuals were held legally (often criminally) responsible for such harm, now defined as "war crimes" or "atrocities." Individuals were increasingly held responsible by international or hybrid tribunals set up under the auspices of the most powerful international institution in the post-1945 system, the UN Security Council, and with significant financial support from the world's most powerful states, foremost being the United States. Only a few years into the twenty-first century, trials of individuals were under way at an independent International Criminal Court (ICC). Our first reaction when we see news reports of war or civil conflict is frequently to ask which individuals are responsible and how they are to be punished. The drive toward individual accountability can be seen in, for instance, the 2009 report by the Goldstone Commission into alleged war crimes committed in Gaza, which led to subsequent calls for the ICC to take up the case; the 2011 report by the Panel of Experts set up by the UN secretary-general to advise on accountability in Sri Lanka; and the swift referral of the situation in Libya to the ICC in February 2011.
  • Topic: International Relations
  • Political Geography: United States, Libya, Sri Lanka, United Nations