1st Edition

Human Rights and Humanitarian Intervention Law and Practice in the Field

By Elizabeth Bruch Copyright 2016
    204 Pages
    by Routledge

    204 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Human rights, peacekeeping, and humanitarian intervention have emerged in the past decades as important components of international law and practice. Adopting a methodology of Institutional Ethnography informed by Actor-Network Theory, this book traces the practices of law and expertise from global IGO headquarters to the ‘field’ and back again, and through various contemporary field missions from Bosnia to Afghanistan and East Timor to Sierra Leone.

    It answers several fundamental questions:

    • How is human rights law engaged in ‘establishing the peace,’ ‘rebuilding the nation,’ and ‘restoring the rule of law’ in post-conflict situations?
    • How do human rights experts use law in their everyday work in the context of humanitarian intervention?
    • How are law and expertise established, sustained and transformed in the field? 

    Offering a complex and nuanced explanation of humanitarian intervention based upon a multi-dimensional understanding of law and power, this book will be of interest and use to scholars, students and practitioners in international law and policy, human rights, and humanitarian intervention.  Its cross-disciplinary approach should also appeal to the professional communities engaged directly and indirectly with projects of humanitarian intervention – including staff at inter-governmental organizations, international lawyers and practitioners, and activists.


    1 Multi-dimensional law in humanitarian intervention: violence, bureaucracy, and governance

    2 Power in writing: formal law, mandates, and reports in humanitarian intervention

    3 Law in translation: human rights field officers as international experts

    4 The rule of law in the field: standards, politics, and pragmatism


    Appendix: Research and expertise in the field of humanitarian intervention


    Elizabeth M. Bruch is an Assistant Professor in the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Tacoma. She previously taught at the University of British Columbia, and on the law faculty at American University’s Washington College of Law, Arizona State University College of Law, and Valparaiso University School of Law. She also worked as a human rights lawyer and served for two years as the Executive Officer of the Human Rights Chamber for Bosnia and Herzegovina.