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All Necessary Measures
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All Necessary Measures
The United Nations and Humanitarian Intervention

Carrie Booth Walling

320 pages | 6 x 9 | 16 illus.
Paper 2016 | ISBN 9780812223859 | $27.50s | Outside the Americas £20.99
Ebook editions are available from selected online vendors
A volume in the series Pennsylvania Studies in Human Rights
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"Overall, All Necessary Measures is an evocative project, in no small part because it challenges the primacy of place that scholars and policymakers give to material and strategic concerns. . . . This is an important piece of scholarship for all readers interested in conflict and human rights, as it clearly and cogently demonstrates that narratives matter, even in the realm of power politics."—Human Rights Quarterly

"Carrie Booth Walling makes a sharp and compelling case for the role of argument in shaping decisions to intervene on humanitarian grounds. From this simple and elegant premise, and drawing adeptly on primary documents, she explains a full range of humanitarian interventions."—Sonia Cardenas, author of Human Rights in Latin America

"All Necessary Measures makes an important contribution to the constructivist literature and brings together numerous cases under a simple but telling framework that illuminates the decision processes of the Security Council on issues of humanitarian intervention."—William Burke-White, University of Pennsylvania School of Law

What prompts the United Nations Security Council to engage forcefully in some crises at high risk for genocide and ethnic cleansing but not others? In All Necessary Measures, Carrie Booth Walling identifies several systematic patterns in the stories that council members tell about conflicts and the policy solutions that result from them. Drawing on qualitative comparative case studies spanning two decades, including situations where the council has intervened to stop mass killing (Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Sierra Leone) as well as situations where it has not (Rwanda, Kosovo, and Sudan), Walling posits that the arguments council members make about the cause and character of conflict as well as the source of sovereign authority in target states have the potential to enable or constrain the use of military force in defense of human rights.

At a moment when constructivist scholars in international relations are pushing beyond empirical claims for the value of norms and toward critical analysis of such norms, All Necessary Measures establishes discourse's real-world explanatory power. From her comparative chronology, Walling demonstrates that humanitarian intervention becomes possible when the majority of Security Council members come to a shared understanding of the conflict, perpetrators, and victims—and probable when the Council understands state sovereignty as complementary to human rights norms. By illuminating the relationship between national interests and the core values of Security Council members and how it influences decision-making, All Necessary Measures suggests when and where the Security Council is likely to intervene in the future.

Carrie Booth Walling is Associate Professor of Political Science at Albion College.

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