Institutional Design of Humanitarian Military Interventions

New PRIF Report by Matthias Dembinski classifies institutional choice in interventions

Group of UN peacekeepers

UN Photo/Isaac Billy, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

If states decide to intervene militarily in another country, this raises normative, inter­national law and power-political issues. In addition, states willing to intervene face the practical question of insti­tutional design, namely whether the inter­vention should be unilateral, bilateral or multi­lateral. Uni­lateral inter­ventions are rare, and bilateral inter­ventions are almost non-existent. In fact, the insti­tutional forms of multi­lateral cooperation are more diversified than the dicho­tomy of alliance versus coalition often mentioned in the litera­ture would suggest.

What interests guide the choice of design? How does which design influence the inter­vention? Scholarly research on this has been marginal. To fill this gap, Matthias Dembinski undertakes a classifi­catory mapping in the new PRIF Report 5/2023 (in German), based on the dataset of all humani­tarian military inter­ventions since 1945 created at PRIF. Building on this analysis, the report formulates consequences for German and European policy.

Matthias Dembinski is a Senior Researcher and project leader at PRIF. He conducts research on issues of European security, processes of dissociation in international politics, and military interventions.

Download (pdf): Dembinski, Matthias (2023): On the Design of Military Interventions for Peace and Humanitarian Protection. Motives, Trends and Consequences for German and European Policy, PRIF Report 5/2023, Frankfurt/M.