Political Violence and the International Community

Developments in International Law and Policy

Are civil conflicts and coups d'etat matters of international concern, or questions of national interest only? How can the increasingly common practice of condemnation and intervention by the United Nations and individual States into situations of extreme political violence be understood? Will civil conflict one day be considered illegal under international law, in the same way as international war? Offering a penetrating analysis that unpacks the relationships between political violence, international policy and international law, and explores international practice in more than 30 civil conflicts, this book challenges many assumptions we hold about the dividing
line between domestic and international affairs, whether democracy is an international norm, and how long the international community is prepared to sit on the sidelines and allow ruthless political violence to determine political leadership in nations. This book fills an important void and
captures the complexities and tensions inherent in an area where practice has moved faster than theory, and pragmatism clashes with idealism.

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Dr. Kirsti Samuels is the Program Director for the Constitution- Building Processes program at International IDEA, an inter-governmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. In 2006, she worked in Somalia and Kenya as the lead legal consultant to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on a constitution-building process for Somalia, and she worked with the interim-government and later the Constitutional Commission in developing and implementing an inclusive and participatory process. Dr. Samuels holds a Law Degree and Science Degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters in Laws and a Doctorate from Oxford University.
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Methodological Issues
Chapter 3: The Security Council Response to Extreme Political Violence
Chapter 4: The Response of States and Regional Organizations
Chapter 5: The Nature and Impact of the Emerging Norms
Appendix 1: Security Council Practice in Civil Conflicts
Appendix 2: Table of Security Council Interventions and Consent
Appendix 3: Rationale for Non-Intervention in Conflicts
Legal scholars, human rights advocates, practitioners, and students.
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