Carnegie Council Congratulates Its Global Ethics Fellow Rajan Menon on His New Book, 'The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention'

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Humanitarian interventions rest on the premise that a genuine "international community" has begun to emerge and has reached consensus on a procedure for eradicating mass killings. Rajan Menon argues that, in fact, humanitarian intervention remains deeply divisive as a concept and as a policy, and is flawed besides.

"The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention" by Rajan Menon

"The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention" by Rajan Menon

Humanitarian intervention remains deeply divisive as a concept and as a policy, and is flawed besides.

Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs congratulates its Global Ethics Fellow Rajan Menon on his new book, "The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention."

Humanitarian interventions rest on the premise that a genuine "international community" has begun to emerge and has reached consensus on a procedure for eradicating mass killings. Carnegie Council Global Ethics Fellow Rajan Menon argues that, in fact, humanitarian intervention remains deeply divisive as a concept and as a policy, and is flawed besides.

In "The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention," Menon shows that states continue to act principally based on what they regard as their national interests. Delivering strangers from oppression ranks low on their list of priorities. Indeed, even democratic states routinely embrace governments that trample the human rights values on which the humanitarian intervention enterprise rests, Menon says. Menon also argues that states' ethical commitment to waging war to end atrocities remains episodic and erratic--more rhetorical than real. And when these missions are undertaken, the strategies and means used invariably produce perverse, even dangerous results.

Rajan Menon is the Anne and Bernard Spitzer Professor of Political Science, City College of New York/City University of New York, and a Senior Research Scholar, Saltzman Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University.

"The Conceit of Humanitarian Intervention" is published by Oxford University Press, March 3, 2016.

ABOUT CARNEGIE COUNCIL
Founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1914 and based in New York City, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs is an educational, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that produces lectures, publications, and multimedia materials on the ethical challenges of living in a globalized world. Go to http://www.carnegiecouncil.org

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Madeleine Lynn