EU Foreign Policy and Humanitarian Intervention: Justice in a Disordered World

Richard Maher, University College Dublin

GLOBUS Research Paper 8/2020


This paper applies three conceptions of global justice—justice as non-domination, as impartiality, and as mutual recognition—to the study and practice of humanitarian intervention in EU foreign policy. It shows that these three conceptions of justice require very different behaviour in the three stages of a humanitarian intervention: the decision to intervene; the conduct of an intervention; and post-intervention reconstruction. As recent cases such as Libya and Syria testify, the EU and EU member states will continue to confront situations in which they must decide whether to wage an armed intervention on humanitarian grounds. This paper aims to show the implications and viability of each conception of global justice as it pertains to humanitarian intervention in EU foreign policy and to provide policymakers with alternative courses of action and modes of self-assessment when it comes to the EU’s ambition to be a value-based actor in world politics.

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Tags: EU and global justice, Cooperation and conflict
Published Mar. 27, 2020 2:37 PM - Last modified Mar. 27, 2020 2:37 PM