The Ethics of humanitarion interventions


  • Fernanda de Abreu Prazeres Associação Brasileira de Relações Internacionais (ABRI)


Since the end of the Cold War, the debate on humanitarian interventions has gained strength. The legitimacy and legality of this kind of war have been brought into question. The argument presented in this paper is that even though the society of states is based on the sovereignty of its members as an ordering principle, contributing generally to the achievement of common goals of states, sovereignty is only relevant as a mechanism to achieve the well-being of mankind as a whole, or what recently has been known as ‘human security’. When this instrumental role is not being exercised responsibly or effectively and fundamental human rights are being disrespected in large-scale, humanitarian interventions can be justified in a society of states as long as the basic requirements of just cause, measure of last resort, proportionality and reasonable probability of success are satisfied.


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Prazeres, F. de A. (2008). The Ethics of humanitarion interventions. Carta Internacional, 3(2), 40–44. Recuperado de