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Force and democracy: UN/US intervention in Haiti

Morris, Justin


Mr Justin Morris
Senior Lecturer/ Director of Undergraduate Admissions


The restoration to power of Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in Haiti in September 1994 appears at first sight to be a victory for democracy over the evils of authoritarian dictatorship. It also suggests the continued willingness of the UN Security Council to intervene in the domestic affairs of states in order to promote human and political rights. However, the resolutions emanating from the Security Council belie a deep unease within the institution, as its Western members pursue an agenda predicated upon the particularist conceptions of human and political rights which lack consensual backing. This article demonstrates that many states, notably veto-bearing China, are beginning to criticize in ever more strident terms the interventionist approach advocated by the United States and its Western allies. With Russia no longer acting as a foil to US ambitions, a propensity to use the Security Council as an agent for promoting and legitimizing Western ideals has developed. Such a trend threatens the minimal consensus which does exist in the Council and which is crucial to its central task of protecting international peace and security. A reassessment is required of the principles upon which the international community is founded, but it is essential that this process is not exclusive to the Western powers. This may result in the Council not being able to take as forthright a position as some would advocate, but it would avoid a return to the veto-induced paralysis of the Cold War.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 1995-09
Print ISSN 1353-3312
Electronic ISSN 1743-906X
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 2
Issue 3
Pages 391-412
Institution Citation Morris, J. (1995). Force and democracy: UN/US intervention in Haiti. International Peacekeeping, 2(3), 391-412. doi:10.1080/13533319508413568
Keywords Political Science and International Relations