The phenomena of humanitarian intervention is not new to the world of international relations, but it has become more evident and more extraordinary, particularly since the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a new world order, dominated by the United States. With the collapse of the communism came the spread of internal strife throughout many countries, which in turn led to the proliferation of injustice, wars, internal, as well as regional conflicts, particularly those related to race and ethnicity. This was reason enough for many states and international organizations to impose their will in protecting minority populations, enforcing human rights, and offering humanitarian assistance. This movement was often aided by capitalist states, particularly the United States, as it aimed to spread Western values and capitalist philosophy, which encompassed liberal, democratic, and free market ideals, especially in developing countries.
Humanitarian intervention takes the form of humanitarian assistance as well as military interference — be it peaceful or violent — usually under the legitimate flagship of the United Nations. Nonetheless, in some of its aspects, interference at times conflicts with fixed understandings and stipulations of international law and international relations, such as in the case of sovereignty and the non-interference in the internal affairs of an independent state.
This book includes a theoretical study of the humanitarian intervention and documents examples of such incidents throughout the history of international relations. It also includes a study of the subject of humanitarian interference in international law, as well as its legitimacy. The development of this issue in the wake of the Cold War is also discussed, along with the different perspective this implies. The book concludes with a case study of three practical incidents of humanitarian intervention — in Iraq, Somalia, and Kosovo, which identify the political application of humanitarian interventionist theory in modern international relations, its legality, and the aspired benefits from such intervention.