Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions
June 11-13, 2015
Fritz Thyssen Stiftung, Apostelnkloster 13-15, Köln

The Balkan Wars of the 1990s, the Rwandan Genocide and the Darfur conflict served as catalysts for a debate which significantly changed international politics: During the 1990s, humanitarian emergencies and human rights abuses came to range among the most powerful arguments to justify military interventions abroad. In the course of this debate, international norms were renegotiated; the principle of sovereignty and the prohibition of the use of force were relativized. It appears likely that this development was a consequence of the end of the Cold War.

Nonetheless, the focus should not be narrowed on the caesura of 1989-91. For a full understanding of the phenomenon, long-term developments need to be considered: The rise of a »New Humanitarianism« that relativized the humanitarian principle of neutrality on the basis of its human rights approach; the renegotiation of political and intellectual positions on the Left as well as the Right; and finally the so-called humanization of international law. Our workshop will examine governments as well as intergovernmental and non-governmental actors like NGOs, the media, or social sciences. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective on these developments, the workshop aims to bring together scholars working on humanitarianism, human rights, and international law.


Friday, June 12, 2015

Keynote Lecture

Bronwyn Leebaw (Riverside): Humanitarianism, Human Rights and the Legitimation of Interventions

I. The Rise of New Humanitarianism

Lasse Heerten (Berkeley): The Biafran War and the Resurrection of Humanitarian Intervention

Jan Eckel (Freiburg): Interventionism and Human Rights before the End of the Cold War

Comment: Annette Weinke (Jena)


II. New Left, Neocons, and the Redefinition of Interventionism

Eleanor Davey (Manchester): The Language of Ingérence in France

Maria Ryan (Nottingham): Exporting Democracy? Neoconservatism and the Limits of Military Intervention, 1989-2008

Comment: Jost Dülffer (Köln)


III. Interventionism and the Humanization of International Law

Gerd Hankel (Hamburg): Responsibility to Protect. Genesis and Implications of an Idea

Max-Otto Baumann (Heidelberg): Human Rights and Humanitarian Interventions. Reactions of the Global South

Comment: Michael Stolleis (Frankfurt am Main)


Saturday, June 13, 2015

IV. Intellectuals, Social Sciences and Interventionism

Julian Bourg (Boston): The New Philosophy. From the Left Bank to Libya

Robert Albro (Chicago): The Defense Intellectual Iron Cage. Expertise, the Cultural Turn, and US Military Operations Other than War

Comment: José Brunner (Tel Aviv)


V. Interventionism and the Media

Matthias Naß (Hamburg): Halabja, Ruanda, Srebrenica. The Media and the Case for Interventionism

Patricia Daley (Oxford): Celebrities and the Geo-Economics of Humanitarianism

Comment: Andrea Liese (Berlin)