In this article I intend to uncover the ideological factors that sustain the international community’s campaign for liberal development. I argue that this is because the international community perceives non-liberal states to be a threat to their liberal peace. I submit that the international community perceives non-liberal states to be a threat because non-liberal governments are considered to be in a state of aggression with their own people. This is based upon the belief by the international community that liberal democracy represents a universally desired system of governance. To this end, the population agitate against the non-liberal regime, campaigning for liberal reform, seeking to realise their liberal desires, which thus creates a state of aggression between the ruler and the ruled. Considering that liberal states regard domestic conduct to be the primary indicator of likely international conduct, the international community perceives non-liberal states to be likely aggressive international actors. Thus, for the international community the only way that they can avert the threat posed by non-liberal states is by subjecting them to liberal reform. In the final section of this article I will reveal how the international community determines which non-liberal states should be prioritised for liberal reformation.
This paper will suggest that since the end of the Cold War liberal states have instituted a new regime of international relations and of international peace and security in particular. Historically, legitimate statehood could be situated virtually exclusively within international society; in their international relations all states subscribed to a common normative standard which regarded all states qua states as legitimate sovereign equals irrespective of the political constitution that they endorsed. With the end of the Cold War, however, an international community of liberal states has formed within international society which considers only those states that respect the liberal values of democracy, human rights and the rule of law as legitimate. Non-liberal states are not only denigrated as illegitimate but more significantly they are stripped of their previously held sovereign status where international community, motivated by the theory that international peace and security can only be achieved in a world composed of exclusively liberal states, campaigns for their liberal transformation. Finally, it will be suggested that despite the disagreement between liberal states over the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 international community survives, and thus its (antagonistic) relationship with non-liberal states continues to provide a useful method for theorising international peace and security in the contemporary world order.
During the civil unrest in Ukraine in early 2014 Russia began supplying rebel groups in Crimea with military equipment, deployed military forces into Crimea and encouraged and supported Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. This article claims that Russia’s conduct between February and March 2014 constitutes unlawful intervention and not a use of force. It reaches this conclusion by, first, exploring the meaning and content of the principles of non-intervention and the non-use of force and then, second, by examining Russia’s justifications namely, that it intervened at the request of Ukraine’s competent authorities, to protect endangered Russian citizens and to support Crimea’s claim to self-determination. The overall aim of this article is to highlight the content and meaning as well as the legal boundaries of the principle of non-intervention as an international legal norm distinct from the prohibition against the use of force.