A New Approach to Humanitarian Intervention? Tony Blair's ‘Doctrine of the International Community’

Abstract

While the Iraq war of 2003 revived interest in the Just War tradition, it also highlighted the need for a theory of ‘justice after war’, and for the consideration of issues such as stability and humanitarian intervention. These concerns appear to be answered by Tony Blair's doctrine of the international community, which offers five conditions for assessing when and whether humanitarian intervention is justified. This ‘Blair doctrine’, however, relies excessively on consequentialist reasoning and, as a result, collapses into realism. It thus provides a timely reminder of the important role of deontological and virtue theoretic considerations in constraining consequentialist thinking in the moral assessment of war.

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Atkins, J. A New Approach to Humanitarian Intervention? Tony Blair's ‘Doctrine of the International Community’. Br Polit 1, 274–283 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.bp.4200023

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Keywords

  • ‘Blair doctrine’
  • international community
  • humanitarian intervention
  • Just War tradition