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International Politics: Humanitarian Intervention Essay

2279 words - 9 pages

Humanitarian interventions have been an argument in the conjecture of international law and international politics. There is not an exact definition of humanitarian intervention and it is still a continuing debate about to which extend it is legal and necessary to make a humanitarian intervention especially since North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)’s ‘semi-illegal’ intervention on Kosovo in 1999, without the permission of United Nations Security Council. What the debate is that if humanitarian interventions are sincerely ‘humanitarian’ or if there are other reasons behind them. The reason of this skepticism is that the different attitudes of international organizations’ and USA’s in different situations such as Kosovo, Rwanda, Somalia and so on. The main idea of opposition side of humanitarian intervention is that it might be a justification of hegemonic countries’ acts upon those countries to gain or keep their benefits on from them. By using this idea as a base, this essay will explain that how hegemony uses humanitarian interventions according to their interest and why the critical theory is the most appropriate theory to explain this issue.
Critical theory has its roots in the Antonio Gramsci (1891-1937)’s work ‘Prison Notebooks’ which was published at 1971. Antonio Gramsci took Marxism as a base for his works but the main differences between Marx and Gramsci is that Gramsci believes it is difficult to promote a revolution because there is flaw in Marxism which is concept of hegemony (Baylis et all, 2008, p. 150). Hegemony was a term used by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin to indicate political leadership of working class in the revolution. But Gramsci developed and expand this word as an analysis of how ruling capitalist class established and maintains its control (Anderson, 1976, p. 15-17; 20).
According to Gramsci, hegemony reflects the conceptualization of power which has two sides as coercion and consent. Classical Marxists suggest that the fear of coercion keeps the exploited class from uprising but Gramsci also includes the consent factor of hegemony which creates a moral, political and cultural values of dominants as they are like worldwide values of everyone. Because Gramsci believes that Marxism always ignores the superstructural phenomena but it needs also a superstructure such as political and cultural practices because he claims that reducing the level of analysis to only socioeconomic base is deeply mistaken since the interaction really matters (Baylis et all, 2008, p. 150). It is a mistake because hegemony does not only use socioeconomic coercions but also intellectual dominance. As it is said before, hegemony maintains their control not just through economic or political coercion but also with ideological imposition. To make their goals about ideological imposition happen, hegemon countries try to create an environment with suitable for their ideology in under developed or developing countries. If the situation becomes against...

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