By Ivan Manokha (auth.)

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This, of course, is not to say that any study of humanitarian intervention must address such issues. It is only to demonstrate that there is a gap in this body of literature, namely the lack of studies of a relationship between human-rights enforcement and 32 The Political Economy of Human Rights Enforcement a global capitalist economy. Furthermore, bearing in mind the earlier observation about the relationship between theory and practice, it is also important to stress that the numerous instrumental and policy-oriented works produce an unintended consequence for practice: they render the existence of human rights and the practice of their enforcement unproblematic, as something self-evident, which only needs some practical/logistical/technical improvement.

Some legal scholars contend that although these cases of intervention did improve human-rights situations in the countries concerned, human rights played a marginal role in the intentions of the interveners. Hilpold, for instance, asserts that these cases ‘provided some humanitarian relief’, but ‘it must be acknowledged that additional – in most cases prevailing – elements were always present that prompted the intervener to act’ (Hilpold, 2001, p. 444; see also Murphy, 1996, p. 94). Hilpold concludes that the necessary elements for the formation of a customary rule allowing measures of human-rights enforcement during the Cold War ‘were not only not present but relevant state practice was a thorough confirmation of the rule which excludes the permissibility of such interventions’ (Hilpold, 2001, p.

173–4; see also Olonisakin, 1996). Betts (1994) examines cases of intervention in Bosnia, Somalia and Haiti and comes to the conclusion that if an intervention in a conflict is to succeed, it must not be impartial. He argues that trying to be impartial, ‘blocks peace by doing enough to keep either belligerent from defeating the other, but not enough to make them stop trying’ and attempts to do this ‘have brought the United Nations and the United States – and those whom they sought to help – to varying degrees of grief in Bosnia, Somali and Haiti’ (Betts, 1994, p.

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