Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention (Hardback) book cover

Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention

Edited by Alan Kuperman, Timothy Crawford

© 2006 – Routledge

4 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415463744
pub: 2007-12-24
Hardback: 9780415379465
pub: 2006-05-25
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315878898
pub: 2014-06-03
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Does humanitarian military intervention save lives as intended? Or does it perversely embolden rebels and ignite the spiral of violence that it seeks to prevent?

Such questions lie at the heart of a new and lively controversy in international politics. "Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention" explores whether the emerging norm of intervention backfires in conflicts such as Kosovo, exacerbating the ethnic cleansing and killing of innocent civilians. Leading academics investigate this problem, including when and where it is most likely to occur, and how to avert the unintended consequences without abandoning intervention. Sceptics weigh in as well, pointing out potential errors in blaming intervention for civil violence, and offering alternative explanations. Several authors conclude with prescriptions to ensure that future interventions mitigate violence, as intended, rather than tragically worsening it.

This book was previously published as a special issue of "Ethnopolitics".


"The studies in this volume help us understand the dynamic background of domestic wars, wars of secession, politicides, and genocides. They serve as a useful corrective to media treatments of these issues, treatments that are often oversimplified in their haste to classify perpetrators and victims. The arguments in the seven essays of the volume are compelling, often relying on close examination of assumptions and the empirical evidence. A scientific enterprise, depending upon carefully marshalled evidence and rigorous logical analysis, helps to move us away from the rather mushy literature tha has been the hallmark of the humanitatian intervention discourse to date…The authors of this volume have made a major contribution in showing the way forward to a more reliable understanding of rebellions, wars, politicides, and genocides."

-Kalevi J. Holsti, Journal of Genocide Research

About the Series

Association for the Study of Nationalities

The books in this series focus on the dynamics and interactions of significant minority and majority nationalisms in the context of globalisation and their social, political and economic causes and consequences. Each book is focused on an important topic drawn from the rigorously peer-reviewed articles published in Nationalities Papers and Ethnopolitics, and includes authoritative theoretical reflection and empirical analysis by some of the most widely recognized experts in the world.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)