Conference date: Wednesday 18 September - Thursday 19 September 2019
Abstract submission deadline: 15 July 2019.
Organised by the BISA working group on Intervention and State Sovereignty
20 Years After Kosovo: The Prospects for and Limits of International Intervention
This conference reflects upon the trajectory of interventionism since Kosovo. What have been its successes? What have been its failures? Does it have a future? How does a changing international environment, as well as the emergence of new actors and combat technologies, affect intervention? The event will bring a group of top academics, as well as policy makers, to Surrey in order to discuss these and related questions.
This event is organised by the Centre for International Intervention at the University of Surrey and BISA International Responsibility to Protect Special Working Group (IR2P). This event is supported by the Institute of Advanced Studies (University of Surrey), BISA and the Leverhulme Trust.
A registration fee (to be confirmed) is applicable for this event.
Twenty years ago, NATO went to war against Serbia over ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, bringing to a close a decade marked by vigorous debate on the pros and cons of military intervention. By the end of that decade, the consensus seemed to be that ‘something had to be done’ in the face of large scale atrocities. ‘Standing by and letting die’ was not a sound foreign policy option. In response, in 1999, the then UK Prime Minister Tony Blair even went so far as to defend a form of ‘liberal interventionism’ in a famous speech in Chicago. Twenty years later, in 2019, the mood music surrounding intervention has changed considerably. In the 2000s, ethnic cleansing in the Sudanese region of Dafur was not halted by the international community, while the slaughter in Syria has continued unabated since 2011/2. The UN-backed intervention Libya in 2011 was anything but a roaring success. Intervention was barely on the agenda during the ethnic cleansing Myanmar’s Muslim minority in 2018. Powerful states, in particular the USA under the presidency of Donald Trump, have begun to pursue a more isolationist foreign policy where ‘saving strangers’ is not an objective. Against this background, this year’s high profile conference, co-organised by Surrey’s Centre for International Intervention and BISA IR2P, reflects upon the trajectory of interventionism since Kosovo. What have been its successes? What have been its failures? Does it have a future? How does a changing international environment, as well as the emergence of new actors and combat technologies, affect intervention? The event will bring a group of top academics, as well as policy makers, to Surrey in order to discuss these and related questions.
Call for papers
The conference marks the 20th anniversary of the Kosovo Intervention, a defining event in the evolution of humanitarian intervention and the protection of civilians. The broad theme of the conference will be the legacies of the Kosovo Intervention and the evolution of humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect (R2P) since 1999. Papers need not relate to the conference theme, though we would certainly welcome those that do.
The conference will explore the substantive changes in the norms relating to civilian protection, alongside the practices of protection that have emerged over the past 20 years. It will address some of the ongoing challenges to the effective prevention of, and response to mass atrocity crimes, as well as looking forward to future evolutions in protective practice, theoretical conceptualisations, legal architectures and international norms.
We welcome papers that address normative, theoretical, legal, and empirical aspects of intervention and the R2P.
Possible topics include:
• The long-term impact of the Kosovo Intervention
• The normative development of humanitarian intervention since 1999
• The evolution of military practice for the protection of civilians and/or populations
• The R2P within the United Nations system
• The impact of populism and neo-nationalism on the R2P
• The legitimacy of humanitarian intervention in the 21st Century
• The domestic politics of civilian protection
• Refugee protection and the R2P
• Drones, emerging military technology and intervention
• The ethics of intervention
• Any other topics connected to the R2P and/or intervention
We have a limited number of guest rooms on our Stag Hill and Manor Park campuses. There are also several hotels within close proximity to the University.