Military Interventions

  • K. M. Fierke


The last two chapters explored moral and legal interventions that have shaped the way that war or intervention are justified and constructed. Each provided a more or less formal framework for making judgments about the conduct of war. The next two chapters shift to the more specific policy choices involved in different forms of intervention. Realist theory emphasizes the influence of material interests on policy. The rational decision is one defined in terms of the national interest in power. Power is first and foremost expressed as military capability, but the latter also relates to economic power, including the strength of the economy and the capacity to produce or purchase weapons. From this perspective, power rather than moral or legal principle motivates state policy or, at best, principle is a vehicle for realizing more material interests. To say, by contrast, that policies are social constructs is to focus on how power and principle combine in historically specific circumstances to bring about a particular configuration of relationships. One objective of the following two chapters is to explore how the relationship between material power and questions of moral principle combine in the construction of economic and military policy and practice.


Security Council Humanitarian Intervention Military Intervention Collective Security Humanitarian Relief 
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Copyright information

© K. M. Fierke 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Fierke
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International StudiesQueen’s UniversityBelfastIreland

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