Repudiating Inhumanity: Cosmopolitan Justice and the Obligation to Prosecute Human Rights Atrocities

  • Patrick Hayden
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter’s departure point is the moral justification for the claim that all persons, and by extension our political societies, have an obligation to contest the impunity that historically has protected perpetrators of genocide and crimes against humanity. Prominent recent examples of gross injustice in the forms of genocide and crimes against humanity include the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. Between 1991 and 1999, civil war, ethnic cleansing, and other human rights abuses tore apart the republics of the former Yugoslavia. Brutal fighting and repression—including violent expulsion, group rape, and mass murder—resulted in the deaths of more than 250,000 people.1 In Rwanda, approximately 800,000 people were systematically slaughtered over a 100-day period between April and July 1994. The genocide was carried out by state security forces and armed militias, most notoriously the Interhamwe (“those who attack together”) and Impuzamugambi (“the single-minded ones”). Most of the victims belonged to the minority Tutsi population, but Hutu moderates were targeted as well.2

Keywords

Boulder Defend Sudan Iraq Libya 

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Samantha Power, “A Problem From Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2002), ch. 12.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Hannah Arendt, Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, rev. edn (New York: Penguin Books, 1965), p. 270.Google Scholar
  3. 8.
    Thomas Pogge, “Cosmopolitanism and Sovereignty,” World Poverty and Human Rights (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2002), pp. 168–95.Google Scholar
  4. 9.
    Martha Nussbaum, “Patriotism and Cosmopolitanism,” in Joshua Cohen, ed., For Love of Country (Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1996), p. 4.Google Scholar
  5. 10.
    Immanuel Kant, “Perpetual Peace,” in Hans Reiss, ed., Political Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991), pp. 107–8.Google Scholar
  6. 11.
    See, for example, Charles Jones, Global Justice: Defending Cosmopolitanism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999).Google Scholar
  7. Darrel Moellendorf, Cosmopolitan Justice (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  8. 13.
    Henry Shue, Basic Rights, 2nd edn (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 51–64.Google Scholar
  9. 15.
    Hannah Arendt, “Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility,” in Peter Baehr, ed., The Portable Hannah Arendt (New York: Penguin, 2003), pp. 146–55.Google Scholar
  10. 20.
    Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organized Violence in a Global Era (Cambridge: Polity, 1999), pp. 124–31.Google Scholar
  11. 21.
    See Nicholas Wheeler, Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Patrick Hayden 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Hayden

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