The question of whether, when and how the international community should respond to violations of humanitarian norms and related humanitarian crises is undoubtedly one of the much-discussed issues on today’s international policy agenda. However, it was not only at the end of the twentieth and the beginning of the twenty-first centuries that this problem suddenly emerged from nowhere, but already during the course of the long nineteenth century it was controversially dealt with.
In my recently published German book “In the Cause of Humanity. A History of Humanitarian Intervention in the long Nineteenth Century” I am looking at various case studies such as the fight against the slave trade (1807-1890), the military interventions of the major European powers to protec Christian minorities in the Ottoman Empire (1827-1878) and the intervention of the United States in the Cuban War of Independence (1898) to investigate the emerging doctrine of humanitarian intervention as an instrument in international politics. A central key role in this development was played by the armed international struggle against the slave trade as the archetype of humanitarian intervention. Thus, the long nineteenth century can be characterized as the genuine “century of humanitarian intervention”, in which military interventionism under the banner of humanity was significantly linked with colonial and imperial projects.
Due to the very generous support by the Monograph Publishing Funds of the Leibniz Association, for which I am deeply grateful, “In the Cause of Humanity” is simultanously published in Open Access. If you are interested you can now read and download the complete book at: http://bit.ly/CauseOfHumanity