Module Identifier IPM6530  
Academic Year 2004/2005  
Co-ordinator Professor Nicholas J Wheeler  
Semester Intended for use in future years  
Next year offered N/A  
Next semester offered N/A  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   20 Hours (1 x 2 hour seminar per week)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment 3,000 word Essay:  50%
Semester Assessment Book Review Essay: 1,500 words  15%
Semester Assessment Seminar Paper  35%

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module, students will be able to:

- Understand the concept of humanitarian intervention
- Critically assess the legal, moral and political argument for and against a right and duty of unilateral humanitarian intervention
- assess the strengths and limitations of the military instrument as a protector of human rights
- analyse the role of the UN and regional organizations in humanitarian intervention
- An ability to relate the conceptual ideas discussed on the module to specific case studies.

Brief description

This module provides an analytical foundation for a Masters level understanding of humanitarian intervention


This module aims to provide students with a Masters level knowledge of the role that the use of force can play in protecting human rights in cases of extreme humanitarian emergencies. Students apply conceptual material to specific cases of intervention.


The module introduces students to the moral, legal, political and strategic issues raised by UN authorized and non-UN authorized interventions in the post-Cold War era. It then applies to specific cases of intervention (Somalia, Rwanda, Kosovo, East Timor and to Afghanistan).

Transferable skills

Students will have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of transferable skills that will help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate the case study material. Throughout the course, students should practice and enhance their reading, comprehension and thinking skills, as well as basic numeric skills and self-management skills. In lectures students will develop listening and note taking skills, as well as analytical skills. In seminars students will enhance their analytical skills and will practice listening, explaining and debating skills, as well as team-work and problem solving. Essay writing will encourage students to practice their independent research, writing and IT skills, and the examination will test these skills under time constraint conditions.

Reading Lists

N J Wheeler Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society 2002. Oxford University Press
JL Molzgrete & Robert O Keohone Humanitarian Intervention: Ethical, Legal and Political Dilemmas


This module is at CQFW Level 7