Challenging kantian non-intervention theory under humanitarian intervention

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Skalska, Agnieszka
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Background: The question of humanitarian intervention is still important, although it might be considered today as out of date, having its apex in 1990’s. Yet, the international community, since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is giving more and more attention to human rights protection. It is becoming a significant issue for states, regional, and international organizations to adopt adequate measures in order to defend and support human rights worldwide. Kantian moral and political theory is relevant for the current discussion regarding the recently developed concept of the ‘responsibility to protect’ and humanitarian intervention. As an aggressive response will always be controversial if considered as one of the means to peace and security, there is therefore a need for a benchmark and justification. Considerations and conclusion: The focus of the thesis is the relation between Kantian non-intervention theory and his concept of normative individualism. A study of Kantian moral and political theory leads to a conclusion that the ultimate end of international ethics and law is to support the development of human freedom by protecting human rights. The notion of normative individualism implies the conditionality of the principle of sovereignty regarded as responsibility. Therefore humanitarian intervention understood as ‘the proportionate transboundary help to individuals in another state who are being denied basic human rights and who themselves would be rationally willing to revolt against their oppressive government’ prevails over the non-intervention principle
Second semester University: KU Leuven
humanitarian intervention, individualism, Kant, Immanuel, responsibility to protect