Impacts and Transformations of Agents, Institutions, and Social Systems-- Capitalism, State, and Democracy in a Global Context
Edited By Tom R. Burns and Peter M. Hall
C H A P T E R 14: Hannes Peltonen: Behind the Scenes.The Security Council, the Right of Humanitarian Intervention, and Meta-Power
451 C H A P T E R 1 4 Behind the Scenes. The Security Council, the Right of Humanitarian Intervention, and Meta-Power1 Hannes Peltonen Introduction Despite the extensive discussions regarding humanitarian intervention—particularly during the 1990s—little attention was given to the kind of right the right of humani- tarian intervention was supposed to be. The debates focused often on whether a right of humanitarian intervention existed, if so who had the right, and when could it be legally or legitimately used.2 From such discussions one had the impression that a right was a right, and all that remained was to determine who had it and when it could be used. This, however, is a simplification of how rights function and what kinds of right exist. Here, I do not refer only to the distinction between something being right and having a right to something, but I draw from Hohfeld’s (1919/2010) typology of rights to distinguish between rights as claims, privileges, powers, and immunities. Later, I will also differentiate between rights as privileges and rights as liberties—something which Hohfeld forgo—to show how a small but crucial ques- tion remained unasked in the earlier debates: What kind of a right is the right of humanitarian intervention? My purpose is not to resuscitate these debates, and therefore I forgo a discussion of various positions taken with regard to humanitarian intervention.3 Rather, my goal is to clarify the operation of meta-powers as pertains to the Security Council and the right...
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