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Intervention in Libya

by Karin Wester

Intervention in Libya Synopsis

The 2011 crisis in Libya represents the first case in which the international community invoked 'the Responsibility to Protect' principle, adopted in 2005 by UN member states, to justify coercive measures including sanctions and the use of military force. In this study, Karin Wester meticulously reconstructs and analyzes the evolution of the Libyan crisis, the international community's response, and the manner in which the 'Responsibility to Protect' was applied. Drawing on a wide variety of primary sources including in-depth interviews with politicians and diplomats, this comprehensive account of the 2011 intervention in Libya redresses popular narratives asserting that the intervention was driven primarily by western (neo-colonial) interests or by a desire for regime change. Instead, Wester reveals how the 'Responsibility to Protect' principle was realized to a considerable extent, but also how it provided a highly fragile basis for military enforcement action. Incorporating perspectives from international law, political science and history, this is a compelling and thought-provoking examination of the real-world application of a principle that is deeply rooted in history but presents daunting challenges in implementation.

Intervention in Libya Press Reviews

'A brilliant, vivid, and analytically lucid account of the inspiration and constraints governing the international community's commitment to the protection of human life over the inviolability of state sovereignty. Wester's agile command of the Libyan case makes clear the extraordinary conditions that enabled R2P intervention, the unresolved contradictions inherent to the doctrine, and the failures of the international security architecture that are likely to make future R2P initiatives rare. A mandatory read for students of ethical conduct in international relations.' Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Brandeis University, Massachusetts 'Karin Wester's meticulously researched and erudite treatment of the international intervention in Libya in 2011 will become the standard book to go to for those interested in the international intervention in Libya, and for those grappling with the concept, application and fall-out of the Responsibility to Protect principle in international politics.' Dirk Vandewalle, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire 'Few conflicts in recent times are as misunderstood as the NATO-led intervention in Libya. It this comprehensive new book, Karin Wester, explains what happened, why, and with what effects with clarity and sound judgment. Combining rigorous research with sound analysis, this book offers a balanced yet incisive account and identifies critically important lessons for the future.' Alexander Bellamy, University of Queensland 'Winning, and maintaining, Security Council support for military intervention in the hardest atrocity cases was always going to be R2P's Achilles Heel. Karin Wester's meticulous and lucid account of the critical Libya case - although arguably too forgiving of the go-it-alone role of its NATO members after the initial strikes - shows how hard a task that continues to be.' Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, and Co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which initiated the Responsibility to Protect principle 'A brilliant, vivid, and analytically lucid account of the inspiration and constraints governing the international community's commitment to the protection of human life over the inviolability of state sovereignty. Wester's agile command of the Libyan case makes clear the extraordinary conditions that enabled R2P intervention, the unresolved contradictions inherent to the doctrine, and the failures of the international security architecture that are likely to make future R2P initiatives rare. A mandatory read for students of ethical conduct in international relations.' Eva Bellin, Myra and Robert Kraft Professor of Arab Politics, Brandeis University, Massachusetts 'Karin Wester's meticulously researched and erudite treatment of the international intervention in Libya in 2011 will become the standard book to go to for those interested in the international intervention in Libya, and for those grappling with the concept, application and fall-out of the Responsibility to Protect principle in international politics.' Dirk Vandewalle, Dartmouth College, New Hampshire 'Few conflicts in recent times are as misunderstood as the NATO-led intervention in Libya. It this comprehensive new book, Karin Wester, explains what happened, why, and with what effects with clarity and sound judgment. Combining rigorous research with sound analysis, this book offers a balanced yet incisive account and identifies critically important lessons for the future.' Alexander Bellamy, University of Queensland 'Winning, and maintaining, Security Council support for military intervention in the hardest atrocity cases was always going to be R2P's Achilles Heel. Karin Wester's meticulous and lucid account of the critical Libya case - although arguably too forgiving of the go-it-alone role of its NATO members after the initial strikes - shows how hard a task that continues to be.' Gareth Evans, Former Australian Foreign Minister, President Emeritus of the International Crisis Group, and Co-chair of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, which initiated the Responsibility to Protect principle

Book Information

ISBN: 9781108477062
Publication date: 19th March 2020
Author: Karin Wester
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Format: Hardback
Pagination: 362 pages
Categories: International organisations & institutions,

About Karin Wester

Karin Wester is the Strategic Policy Advisor for the Middle East and North Africa at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands. Receiving her Ph.D. in International Law from the University of Amsterdam, she has worked as a diplomat for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands for over twenty years, focusing on multilateral cooperation, human rights, peace and security, and the Middle East. She has served, amongst other places, at the Permanent Mission of the Netherlands to the United Nations in New York, the EU Desk, and at the Department of Humanitarian Aid and Reconstruction.

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