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Contemporary scenes of politically induced humanitarian catastrophe have prompted calls for the international community to intervene in defence of our common humanity, yet intervention continues to be a contested practice in a world of states. Tapping insights and controversies from feminist political theory, Lu argues that contemporary debates about the ethics of intervention in world politics are disciplined by competing models of the public/private distinction, a valuable organizing construct for interrogating the agency and responsibilities of different agents, the proper structure of their relationship with each other, and the legitimacy of current interventionary practices. This paperback edition includes a new afterword focusing on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, and the ethical and political challenges it poses to diverse public and private agents engaged in interventions for purposes of human protection. This includes states and the United Nations, private military and security companies, and the international humanitarian aid regime.

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