JSTOR Political Sciences Database Search: “Failed State” and “remedy”

Fixdal, Mona, and Dan Smith, “Humanitarian Intervention and Just War,” Mershon International Studies Review 42: 2 (Nov., 1998) 283-312.

ABSTRACT:    Humanitarian intervention is one of the primary international security problems of today. As an object analysis, it sits at the intersection of the realist and idealist traditions in the study of international relations. Despite its high profile, debate on humanitarian intervention is unsatisfactory; participants talk past one another and most discussion is devoid of ethical concepts. In particular, there is a striking absence of explicit reference to the Just War tradition. Only scholars of international law have explicitly and systematically examined normative issues, but their focus seems too narrow. The result is a series of what appear to be arbitrary judgments about when humanitarian intervention is justified combined with an often fundamental misunderstanding of the international system. This essay presents a sketch of the Just War tradition's main concepts and argues that it is both possible and advantageous to resort to them in discussing and evaluating humanitarian intervention. The article then applies these concepts to the recent debate on humanitarian intervention and shows that almost all of the concerns raised in this scholarship fit within the Just War framework. The essay focuses on the criteria from the Just War tradition that deal with when to resort to the use of armed force.

 Langford, Tonya.  “Things Fall Apart: State Failure and the Politics of Intervention,” International Studies Review 1:1 (Spring, 1999), 59-79.

 ABSTRACT: Reviewing the growing literature on failed states, this article identifies a debate between proposals to resurrect United Nations (UN) trusteeship and other possible solutions. It questions the necessity for and the legal, moral, and practical implications of instituting large-scale, state-building mechanisms. Much of the opposition to trusteeship seems to be based on automatic criticism, linking it to colonialism and legal restrictions in the UN Charter. This type of response ignores the necessity for comprehensive long-term solutions to state failure. Trusteeship may seem radical, but it reflects the severity of the problem and challenges scholars and policymakers to break out of conventional modes of intervention. The conventional methods have not brought us any closer to developing viable means of responding to situations that threaten individual, state, and international security. Possible solutions lie in changing the direction of intervention policy toward comprehensive and coordinated efforts by compiling past experience into a more holistic approach, such as that of peace maintenance.


Terms of Art from Fixdal and Smith, and Langford: "Failed State," “Just War,” “humanitarian intervention,” “trusteeship,” “colonialism,” “state-building,” “holistic approach[es],” and “peace maintenance.”