“Justifying Interventions: The Case of ECOWAS in Liberia”, Nina Wilén (Egmont, Belgium)

Two decades into the new millennium it is clear that ‘benign’ interventions with the aim to stabilize conflict-ridden or troubled states are here to stay. The UN, as the world’s largest international organization, stands for most of these interventions with over 90,000 peacekeepers deployed worldwide. Yet regional organizations, alliances, and different types of ad hoc coalitions have sailed up alongside the UN as new actors with the aim to enforce international order and stabilize troubled areas, mostly in Africa. At times these interventions have stretched (un)written rules and norms. The UN’s authorization of an ad hoc coalition’s intervention in Libya for example, was breaking new ground (and even breaking formal norms) as the situation in Libya marked the first time the Security Council authorized the use of force for human protection purposes against the wishes of a functioning state, thus straying from the UN’s sacred norm of consent.

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