Evil as a crime against humanity : confronting mass atrocities in a plural world
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This thesis represents an attempt to reimagine why and how to confront mass atrocities in world politics. Drawing on Hannah Arendt’s conception of evil, it interprets and understands mass atrocities as ‘evil’ in an ‘Arendtian’ sense, that is, as crimes against human plurality and, thus, crimes against humanity itself. This understanding of mass atrocities paves the way for reframing responses to mass atrocities as attempts to confront evil. In doing so, the thesis focuses on military intervention under the banner of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and judicial intervention by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and reframes them as tools to protect human plurality from evil. Furthermore, the thesis looks at the place and the role of R2P and the ICC in the changing landscape of world order. It argues that the protection of humanity from evil can serve as a legitimate Grundnorm (basic norm) around which a global constitutional order in an inherently pluralistic world can be constructed. Ultimately, the thesis weaves together realist, liberal, cosmopolitan and critical insights: From liberalism and cosmopolitanism, it takes the view that certain evils are genuinely universal problems that have to be confronted by global institutions. From realism, it takes a focus on the harsh realities of political life, a sensitivity to the tragic dimensions of human existence and an aversion to moralism. From critical scholarship, finally, it takes the idea of human plurality as a moral and political value and an acute awareness of the dangers of de-politicisation. In combination, these elements create an alternative picture of why and how to confront mass atrocities in world politics: In this picture, mass atrocities are portrayed as a threat to plurality, which is why genuine attempts to confront mass atrocities appear as efforts to protect human plurality from evil.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internationalhttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Embargo Date: 2022-02-20
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Electronic copy restricted until 20th February 2022
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