Authors: Birte Ahlhaus
Exercising a human security policy, based on the compliance with international law and being a good international citizen, middle power states find themselves in a legal and political dilemma when it comes to the compliance with two incontestable norms of international law – the prohibition of the use of force and the protection of human rights. Despite ongoing intense debates, encouraging promises and political approaches such as the R2P doctrine, humanitarian intervention remain in a state of norm conflict and, as such, hinder effective responses to humanitarian crises. This research examines the current status of humanitarian intervention in law and politics by looking specifically at middle power case studies of humanitarian intervention. The aim is to evaluate if, and how, a better convergence of the two incontestable norms can be achieved to improve international responses to humanitarian crises.
Keywords: humanitarian intervention; middle power states; human security; norm conflict; international law