How are humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect changing in the current international political scene? In Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action (3rd ed.,...

How are humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect changing in the current international political scene? In Humanitarian Intervention: Ideas in Action (3rd ed., Polity Press, 2016), Thomas G. Weiss (The Graduate Center, CUNY) explores the past, present, and future of these phenomena. The book offers a synthesis of conceptual debates, case studies, and historical analysis in exploring the constantly evolving theory and practice of humanitarian intervention. It also discusses that way that transformations in how wars are fought and in the identity and operations of humanitarian organizations impact prospects for intervention. The interview covers the history of humanitarian intervention and the emergence of the ‘responsibility to protect’ norm, the role of the UN and of humanitarian organizations in relation to intervention, shifting understandings of sovereignty, the expansion of what is understood to constitute a threat to international peace and security, the present situation in Syria, and much more.

John McMahon is a Doctoral Candidate in Political Science at The Graduate Center, CUNY, where he has also completed the Women’s Studies Certificate. He is a Fellow at the Center for Global Ethics and Politics at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies at The Graduate Center, which co-sponsors the podcast.

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