Western Liberal Interventionism after the Cold War – Determinants and Consequences
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Uniwersytet Warszawski
Publication date: 2020-06-25
Stosunki Międzynarodowe – International Relations 2015;51(3):29–43
After the Cold War, Western military interventions in various regions of the world intensified. This time, the motivations behind them were not mainly imperialist or neo-colonial. They reflected, first of all, a new, broadened security concept as well as the conviction that armed force may be used in situations of mass violation of human rights and to overthrow despotic regimes to be followed by the establishment of a democratic system. This belief originates in the liberal concept of international relations. The author presents a number of Western military interventions emblematic of this motivation – from Kosovo to Libya. Their failure and especially the long-term consequences force us to give some thought to the mistakes that were made and question the purpose of the very core of liberal interventionism. The awareness of these mistakes and traps can, however, help conduct such interventions – when an actual need for them arises – not only more effectively but also in accordance with the principles of the concept.