After the military humanitarian intervention in Kosovo in March
1999, a new moral international imagination has been borne. It
promised a better world where human rights would be respected,
encouraged and exercised. In particular, solidarist groups used the
concept of humanitarian intervention to demonstrate international
society's moral commitment to uphold the values of liberty, the
rule of law and open society. A Critical Humanitarian Intervention
Approach argues that these claims will remain nothing more than
'imaginary' unless the workings of international economic order are
included in the analysis of humanitarian intervention complexity.
The book reconceptualises security in terms of Ken Booth's Theory
of World Security. In doing so, it extends the theoretical and
practical limitations of solidarist theorizing on the subject of
humanitarian intervention. It develops a critical approach which
argues that theories of humanitarian intervention need to focus on
the prevention of humanitarian emergencies rather than their
management. In particular, Butler highlights the need to examine
the economic conditions that contextualise supreme humanitarian
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