Pockets of Barbarism: Internal and External Challenges to the International Humanitarian Order

Ringvorlesung des Exzellenzclusters "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen": The End of Pacification? The Transformation of Political Violence in the 21st Century

Prof. Jennifer M. Welsh (McGill University, Montreal)

13. Februar 2019, 18.15 Uhr

Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Campus Westend, Hörsaalzentrum, HZ9

Abstract
This lecture challenges the meta-narrative of gradual pacification, by examining the manifestations, drivers, and consequences of the contemporary return of ‘barbarism‘ in armed conflict. While Stephen Pinker and others point to the vast majority of countries in the world that now enjoy relative peace, the ‘remaining 20 percent‘ is experiencing both interstate and civil conflict in which indiscriminate attacks on civilians, the annihilation of
religious and ethnic minorities, and the starvation of populations are a regular part of the strategic repertoire of belligerents. The lecture will assess both the reasons for the increasing lethality of armed conflicts for civilians, particularly in urban settings (with a particular focus on Syria and Yemen), as well as the impact on the regime of international humanitarian law that aims to regulate conflict and minimise suffering. It will also argue that contemporary challenges to that regulation are not only external to the regime, but also internal to its principles and rules. IHL has always had within it an inherent tension between humanitarian considerations and the imperative of military necessity, which has in some cases enabled the
current return of barbarism. The lecture will also contest the tendency to cast nonstate armed groups as the key perpetrators of barbarism, and demonstrate how nation-states themselves are also contributing to an erosion of the international humanitarian order.

CV
Jennifer M. Welsh is the Canada 150 Research Chair in Global Governance and Security at McGill University (Montreal, Canada). She was previously Professor and Chair in International Relations at the European University Institute (Florence, Italy) and Professor in International Relations at the University of Oxford, where she co-founded the Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict. From 2013-2016, she served as the Special
Adviser to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, on the Responsibility to Protect. Professor Welsh is the author, co-author, and editor of several books and articles on humanitarian intervention, the evolution of the notion of the ‘responsibility to protect’ in international society, the UN Security Council, and Canadian foreign policy.
Her most recent books include The Return of History: Conflict, Migration and Geopolitics in the 21st century (2016), which was based on her CBC Massey Lectures, and The Responsibility to Prevent: Overcoming the
Challenges of Atrocity Prevention (2015).

Weitere Informationen zur Ringvorlesung "The End of Pacification? The Transformation of Political Violence in the 21st Century": Hier...

Veranstalter:
Exzellenzcluster "Die Herausbildung normativer Ordnungen"


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