Abramowitz and Woocher highlight a potentially significant shift in policy discourse in international relations with respect to humanitarianism and the prevention of genocide. For many years, the United States has suffered from the twin problems of the human rights “double standard” and “Catch-22.” On the one hand, particular countries have been seen as vital by the United States for intervention on humanitarian grounds even though many believed other geostrategic interests are at stake (e.g. Kosovo in 1999) and others have not (e.g. Rwanda in 1994). On the other hand, US intervention on humanitarian grounds can be criticized as heavy-handed or masking true intentions, or its failure to act can be criticized. It is thus compelling to examine this new way of thinking about genocide, and to reflect on how the logic itself could be applied to concerns that go well beyond genocide.

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