Chicago Harper Lecture with Robert A. Pape: A Pragmatic Standard of Humanitarian Intervention
April 18, 2013: 6:00 PM - 8:30 PM
In this lecture, Robert A. Pape, PhD '88, will present a pragmatic standard of humanitarian intervention which can help guide decision makers on when to intervene to stop governments from targeting their own citizens.
505 North Michigan Avenue
$10/recent graduate (College graduates of the past ten years and professional school graduates of the past five years)
6:00 PM-7:00 PM: Registration and reception
7:00 PM-8:30 PM: Lecture and discussion
Register By Email
Register By Phone: 773.702.7788
When should the United States and other members of the international community intervene militarily to stop a government from harming its own citizens? Since World War II, the main standard of humanitarian intervention has been the high bar of genocide, although the international community has rarely acted to stop it. The main existing alternative--the "responsibility to protect"--would set the bar so low that virtually every instance of anarchy or tyranny would create unbounded obligations beyond the capacity of states to fulfill.
In this lecture, Robert A. Pape, PhD '88, will present a pragmatic standard of humanitarian intervention which can help guide decision makers on when to intervene to stop governments from targeting their own citizens. The standard has three requirements for the use of force: an ongoing, government-sponsored campaign of mass homicide; a viable plan for international intervention with reasonable estimates of low casualties for the intervening forces; and a workable strategy for creating lasting local security for the threatened population. The pragmatic standard was met in the recent successful intervention in Libya, as well as in the other cases of actual humanitarian intervention over the past 20 years, and it should become the basis for deciding which humanitarian crises justify international military intervention in the future.
Robert A. Pape (Speaker)
Professor of political science, University of Chicago
Robert A. Pape, a professor of political science at the University of Chicago, specializes in international security affairs. His publications include Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (with James Feldman); Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism; and Bombing to Win: Air Power and Coercion in War, as well as numerous articles in scholarly journals, newspapers, and popular media. His current work focuses on the causes of suicide terrorism and the politics of unipolarity.