The politics of humanitarian intervention: a critical analogy of the British response to end the slave trade and the civil war in Sierra Leone

Ibrahim Shaw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A leading scholar of humanitarian intervention, Brown (2002) refers to British internal politics to satisfy the influential church and other non-conformist libertarian community leaders, and above all ‘undermining Britain's competitors, such as Spain and Portugal, who were still reliant on slave labour to power their economies, as the principal motivation for calls to end the slave trade than any genuine humanitarian concerns of racial equality or global justice’. Drawing on an empirical exploration, this article seeks to draw a parallel between this politics of humanitarian intervention which characterised the abolition movement, albeit rarely recognised in the academic literature, and the British intervention to end the almost 11 year civil war in Sierra Leone. The article concludes with a discussion on the implications of this politics of humanitarian intervention in the reconstruction of post-conflict Sierra Leone.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-285
JournalJournal of Global Ethics
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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