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This book examines the doctrine of humanitarian intervention in light of the end of the cold war and the first decade of institutional and state practice under the revitalised United Nations. This book queries whether the United Nations by Security Council Resolution or in the absence of such resolution, a nation or group of nations, has the legal right to intervene forcefully against another nation's territorial integrity to end extreme violations of human rights.
Susan Breau traces the evolution of state practice with an emphasis on what states do to each other and what they do to their own citizens. This development has resulted in United Nations interventions in what were traditionally considered internal matters of state sovereignty under Article 2 (7) of the United Nations Charter.
The practice of the 1990's and the early 21st century has disclosed a startling shift in the role played by the United Nations from peacekeeping to peacemaking and peace enforcement within sovereign states. This practice has resulted in a new international order, which permits intervention by the world body when massive violations of human rights occur in the context in a civil war. In that context this book will discuss the actions in Somalia, Bosnia/Herzegovina, Haiti, East Timor, Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi and the inaction in Rwanda and Darfur.