The Thin Blue Line
How Humanitarianism Went to War
By Conor Foley
(Verso, Hardcover, 9781844672899, 266pp.)
Publication Date: October 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
The ideathat we should do something to help those suffering in far-off placesis the main impulse driving those who care about human rights. Yet fromKosovo to Iraq, military interventions have gone disastrously wrong.
In this groundbreaking new book, Conor Foley explores how the doctrineof humanitarian intervention has been used to allow states to invadeother nations in the name of human rights. Drawing on his ownexperience of working in over a dozen conflict and post-conflict zones, Foley shows how the growing influence of international law has beenused to override the sovereignty of the poorest countries in the world.
The Thin Blue Linedescribes how in the last twenty years humanitarianism has emerged as amultibillion dollar industry that has played a leading role in defininghumanitarian crises, and shaping the foreign policy of Westerngovernments and the United Nations. Yet, too often, this has beeninformed by myths and assumptions that rest on an ill-informedpost-imperial arrogance. Movements set up to show solidarity with thepowerless and dispossessed have ended up betraying them instead.