Without succumbing to utopian fantasies or realistic pessimism, Riemer and his contributors call for strengthening the key institutions of a global human rights regime, developing an effective policy of prudent prevention of genocide, working out a sagacious strategy of keenly targeted sanctions--political, economic, military, judicial--and adopting a guiding philosophy of just humanitarian intervention. They underscore significant changes in the international system--the end of the Cold War, economic globalization, the communications revolution-- that hold open the opportunity for significant, if modest, movement toward strengthening key institutions.
The essays explore key problems in working toward prevention of genocide. They highlight the existence of considerable early warning of genocide and emphasize that the real problem is a lack of political will in key global institutions. Sanctions, especially economic sanctions may punish a genocidal regime, but at the expense of innocent civilians. Thus, more clearly targeted sanctions are seen as essential. The argument on behalf of a standing police force to deal with the crime of genocide, as they show, is powerful and controversial: powerful because the need is persuasive, controversial because political realists question its cost and political feasibility. Implementing a philosophy of just humanitarian intervention requires an appreciation of the difficulties of interpreting those principles in difficult concrete situations. A permanent international criminal tribunal to deter and punish genocide, they argue, will put into place a much needed component of a global human rights regime. A thoughtful analysis for scholars and students of international politics and law, and human rights in general.
About the Author:
NEAL RIEMER is Andrew V. Stout Professor of Political Philosophy, emeritus, Department of Political Science, Drew University. His major books include Creative Breakthroughs in Politics, Karl Marx and Prophetic Politics, The Future of the Democratic Revolution, James Madison, The Revival of Democratic Theory, and, with Douglas Simon, The New World of Politics.