The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention.

Author:Aloyo, Eamon
Position:Book review
 
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The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention. Edited by Don Scheid. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Some of the esteemed contributors to this volume edited by Don Scheid advance contemporary debates in political philosophy about armed humanitarian intervention (AHI) and the coercive military component of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Unfortunately, I can mention only a few of their interesting arguments here. C. A. J. Coady and Ned Dobos argue that nearly all AHIs are morally permissible because, while there is a responsibility to aid those suffering severely, there are many ways to discharge these "imperfect duties" and the opportunity costs for doing so via AHI may be high (chap. 5). Helen Frowe argues convincingly against including right intention or motive as a necessary condition for AHI to be morally permissible, because saving innocents from severe harm matters more than the interveners' intentions or motives (chap. 6). James Pattison advances the debate about how costs should be distributed among interveners, bystanders, and beneficiaries of AHI. He contends that, because soldiers have role-based duties to bear the risks of intervention, they should shoulder higher costs of intervention than should innocent beneficiaries and bystanders (chap. 7). Scholars interested in R2P and regime change should consult Alex Bellamy's chapter, where he compiles data on regime changes and government-sponsored mass killing of...

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