‘Humanitarian’ Intervention

Assessment of Normative Change
  • Janne Haaland Matlary


As Martha Finnemore (1996) notes, the norm of what constitutes legitimate use of force has changed and is changing, along with the norm of what constitutes ‘humanitarian’. In her work she investigates the changes in the latter norm in particular, finding that ‘humanity’ changed from being essentially Euro-centric and Christian in the nineteenth century, through the abolition of slavery to the period of de-colonization. By then ‘humanity’ had become global, and not specified according to religion. The final expansion of humanity to all persons, as the pre-eminent global set of values, came with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the subsequent human rights instruments.


Security Council Security Policy Armed Conflict Military Intervention International Peace 
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Copyright information

© Janne Haaland Matlary 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janne Haaland Matlary
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OsloNorway

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