Manual Human Rights, Legitimacy, and the Use of Force

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The thirteen essays by Allen Buchanan collected here are arranged in such a way as to make evident their thematic interconnections: the important and hitherto unappreciated relationships among the nature.
Table of contents

Monopoly on violence

While taking note of the latest reports that a military council is being formed, the experts called on the authorities to respond to the legitimate grievances of the people. More than 20 people have been killed and over injured since 6 April, the experts said, adding they had also received reports of widespread arrests and attacks on journalists by the security forces. At a demonstration in front of the headquarters of the Sudanese Armed Forces in Khartoum, the National Intelligence and Security Services used live ammunition and tear gas to disperse protesters, prompting the army to move in to protect them, the experts said.

Protests erupted nearly four months ago when the Government attempted to raise the prices of bread and basic commodities. Buchanan - - Oxford University Press. State Consent Vs. Human Rights as Foundations for International Law.

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Jordy Rocheleau - - Social Philosophy Today Added to PP index Total views 52 , of 2,, Recent downloads 6 months 2 , of 2,, How can I increase my downloads? Sign in to use this feature. No keywords specified fix it. No categories specified categorize this paper. Applied ethics. History of Western Philosophy. Normative ethics. Philosophy of biology. Philosophy of language. Philosophy of mind. Philosophy of religion. Science Logic and Mathematics. To begin with, von Treitschke rejected the idea of legal limits on the means as well as the ends of war.

In stark contrast, as it has prosecuted the wars first against Afghanistan and then Iraq, the Bush administration has for the most part celebrated its strict adherence to the laws of war, going so far as to proclaim a new historical era in which technology makes it possible to target evil rulers rather than the societies they subjugate. Moreover, the administration has in part attempted to ground its recourse to force on interpretations of widely recognised legal and ethical rules rather than claims about the unreviewable prerogatives of sovereignty.

Invoking the Charter-recognised right of self defence against an armed attack in the case of a de facto government Afghanistan's Taliban that provides safe haven to a well organised terrorist organisation that had struck repeatedly at American targets, killed more Americans than died at Pearl Harbor when the Japanese attack precipitated U. Iraq was a stretch, but, Bush administration defenders have argued, no greater than the one made by NATO when it bombed Serbia into submission over Kosovo, an action deemed technically illegal but nevertheless 'legitimate' by the Independent International Commission on Kosovo composed of the sort of cosmopolitan progressives committed to the minimisation of force in international affairs and the reinforcement of international institutions and law.

In Iraq, the U. Moreover, in the preceding decade the Council had either acquiesced in or endorsed more limited military actions against Iraq by the U. But Iraq looks like a merely modest stretch only when considered in isolation from the acts and claims that have marked American foreign policy since the advent of the Bush Administration in January What drove the architects of the United Nations, the international financial institutions and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade GATT was a belief that the balance-of-power system marked by the commitment of national elites to the ceaseless competitive accumulation and exploitation of power is too dangerous to be endured and incompatible with the growing demand for welfare rather than warfare states.

What is SOVEREIGNTY? What does SOVEREIGNTY mean? SOVEREIGNTY meaning, definition & explanation

These political and economic institutions were the first elements of a management system for the global society and economy that would hopefully replace the global war system which from achieved slaughter on a planetary scale. Outside the Communist Bloc, the envisioned trading system and its associated financial order gathered pace and then was propelled forward by seismic changes in information, communications and transportation technologies, so that sixty years after World War II, we actually have the inter-connected world dimly imagined by the architects of The collapse of Soviet power in coincided roughly with a resurgence of economic and psychological buoyancy in the United States to produce an international environment with some similarities to the one prevailing in , but with differences the potential effects of which were not immediately clear.

Similarity consisted in the widely sensed dawning at least in Western polities of a new epoch filled with vast potential for co-operation among leading states to ameliorate the human condition.

The first difference was the absolutely unrivalled nature of American military power. The Soviet equilibriator was gone with no state or coalition of states on the horizon to replace it.

For the first time in human history, one country could deliver militarily decisive conventional force to any corner of the globe within weeks if not days of a decision to do so. Both celebrants and critics of American pre-eminence began referring to the now ubiquitous 'Unipolar World'. This was not just a matter of transnational trade and investment flows, but of transnationally integrated production and service networks and of the vulnerable communication and energy systems that made such integration viable. A third difference between the conditions prevailing in and was the cumulative effect of market integration and the revolution in transportation and communications on traditional culture and political awareness in the global periphery, together with an extraordinary acceleration in population growth.

Given these salient features of the post-Cold War world, in one might reasonably have looked to American leaders for a burst of institutional and normative creativity similar to the one they had exhibited after World War II.

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On the one hand, the United States enjoyed far greater relative military power and economic and cultural reach than it had sixty years earlier and, on the other hand, it faced a set of interrelated threats to its long-term national security and the welfare of its people that could be analogised to the threat that Soviet power and Marxist ideology had posed. But these threats lacked something at that point, namely a name, a face and an address that could fit them into the manichaean template of American popular culture. In the years following the Soviet Union's dissolution, Washington did emit a few rhetorical hints of new ambitions for the international order usually in terms of a commitment to the planetary spread of free markets and liberal democracy.

But other signs pointed in a very different direction for American foreign policy. A paper produced by Pentagon planners during the senior Bush's presidency and leaked to the press 33 advocated the indefinite preservation of American strategic dominance, albeit, interesting enough, by avoiding exploitation of that dominance in ways other states would find threatening. The unilateralist tone of the Pentagon paper had a bi-partisan echo in an address made in the early years of the Clinton administration by its then United Nations Ambassador Madeleine Albright.

In it she declared that the Clinton administration would use international organisations only to the extent they served to facilitate achievement of U. Yet the Clinton administration's actual policies included attempts to secure Congressional appropriation of funds needed to pay U. Nevertheless, to anyone anticipating a leap forward rather than a slight increment in the reach of international institutions and law, Clinton's policies had to be disappointing.

Among other reasons for his caution was the disappearance in the foreign policy arena of a certain discipline imposed by the high stakes of Soviet-American competition in the Cold War. With those stakes off the table, the arena of foreign policy became completely accessible to antagonists in the cultural wars that had been burning brightly in America since the Vietnam era.

Monopoly on violence - Wikipedia

In that arena, the sort of unashamed definers of national interest in brutally competitive terms who echoed the contempt of the turn-of-the-century German elite for the arbitrament of law in international relations could coalition with right-wing religious groups sympathetic to manichaean imagery and, opportunistically, with libertarians hostile to public regulation and management whether national or international but also dubious about overseas adventures and ethnic diasporas anxious to employ American power to defeat adversaries of their overseas kin, rather than to manage international conflict in accordance with general behavioural norms.

And for reasons too complex to summarisehere 36 and, for that matter, not entirely clear, 37 during the two decades before the Clinton presidency, they had increasingly influenced the tone and imagery of political discourse. The disputed presidential election of brought these disparate antagonists of the international-law-and-institution-building project to the centre of world power.

Out went Clinton's mild incrementalism. In came a ferocious assault on the International Criminal Court, followed quickly by rejection of the proposed enforcement protocol to the Biological Weapons Convention, abortion of efforts to increase the transparency of the global financial system in order to reduce its complicity in official corruption, tax evasion and money laundering, 38 and repudiation without tender of alternatives of proposed restrictions on activities contributing to global warming i. These and other acts and omissions, however inimical to the vision animating the founders of the UN Charter system, did not yet challenge the system itself.

As a kind of corollary of its preventive war doctrine, the Bush administration announced its intention of restarting nuclear weapons development 40 in order to create very low yield warheads that could notionally be used against buried command posts and laboratories.

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Simultaneously it violated at least the spirit of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty in which non-nuclear states relinquished the right to acquire such weapons in return for a promise of the nuclear powers to reduce their nuclear weapon stockpiles and work toward nuclear disarmament. Unilateral enforcement of a selective non-proliferation regime challenged not just the Charter but the entire four-century old system of state sovereignty with its corollary of equal legal rights. For what is more central to the idea of sovereignty than discretion to determine how best to defend the sovereign state's political independence and territorial integrity?

It is one thing for states to relinquish by treaty the right to choose weapon systems most likely to deter attack. What is left of sovereignty if a single state, acting unilaterally, can deny to others the one weapon which might deter it from imposing its will on any and every issue?

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The prospect for international legal order in light of Iraq. The escalating costs of the Iraq occupation and the refusal of certain important states to contemplate helping bear them without the Security Council's assuming a prominent role in overseeing the political transition in that country has to be a learning experience, however unwelcome. One lesson is that most of the world, the developed as well as developing, clings to the essential elements of the system of order provided by the Charter's substantive and procedural rules.

Above all, there remains powerful support for the presumptive invalidity of any armed intervention by one state in another without Security Council authorisation or, at least in Africa, without authorisation by a regional organisation.