Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law

Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law

Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law

Reading Humanitarian Intervention: Human Rights and the Use of Force in International Law

Synopsis

Humanitarian intervention seemed to promise a world in which human rights would be privileged over national interests or imperial ambitions during the 1990s. This book argues that humanitarian intervention had far more exploitative effects and draws on feminist, postcolonial, legal and psychoanalytic theory to provide an innovative reading of the narratives accompanying humanitarian intervention, a field which has received very little critical analysis. It concludes by considering what has been lost in the transference of concerns from humanitarian intervention to the war on terror.

Excerpt

I have been blessed with the support of many family, friends, colleagues and students during the writing of this book. The shape and direction of my thinking about humanitarian intervention owe a great deal to my good fortune in being offered my first academic position at the School of Law and Legal Studies at La Trobe University in 1993. At that time, La Trobe was home to a community of many of the most exciting and creative critical and feminist legal scholars in Australia. My inspiring colleagues, in particular Greta Bird, Sue Davies, Ian Duncanson, Judith Grbich, Adrian Howe, Rob McQueen, Andrea Rhodes-Little and Margaret Thornton, provided me with a constant source of friendship, and taught me the great pleasures and responsibilities of critical scholarship and of engaged and innovative teaching. I was encouraged and stimulated in the later stages of the work on this project by my friends, students and colleagues at the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne, particularly Philip Alston, Jenny Beard, Jennie Clarke, Belinda Fehlberg, Krysti Guest, David Kinley, Ian Malkin, Jenny Morgan, Dianne Otto, Sundhya Pahuja, Jindy Pettman, Martin Phillipson, Kim Rubenstein, Peter Rush, Gerry Simpson and Maureen Tehan. Michael Bryan and Michael Crommelin at the University of Melbourne have been supportive of the project in many ways, and have made it possible for me to combine academic life with the pleasurable demands of caring for young children. My thanks also to Dimity Kingsford-Smith, David Kinley and Stephen Parker for allowing me to spend a research semester finishing the book at the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law, Monash University. My thoughts on the future of human rights and economic globalisation have been profoundly influenced by the experience of teaching and engaging with students at the University of Melbourne . . .

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