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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 emergencies.

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