Norms and interests of humanitarian interventions
This study investigates whether an emerging norm of humanitarian intervention is developing. The theoretical component of the paper posits that if the two critical issues that bear upon humanitarian interventions, sovereignty and national interest, are reconceived from their traditional positivist understanding to a constructivist understanding, humanitarian interventions can be seen as an evolving and acceptable concept in the international system. The question of whether a norm of humanitarian intervention is emerging is investigated by examining, (1) global regional charters in order to note the theoretical acceptance of the notion of forcible humanitarian interventions and, (2) by examining US views towards forcible humanitarian interventions. In addition, case studies involving US participation in humanitarian interventions during the 1990s are examined in order to glean lessons of the conditions under which the most powerful actor in international relations has, and possibly would, support an emergence of a norm of humanitarian interventions.