Department or Program



Recently, it appears that the international community has felt compelled to intervene in situations of humanitarian crises. However, such collective action, despite its noble purpose, is in clear violation of the principle of sovereignty. This thesis argues that the meaning of sovereignty has changed from being seen as an inherent, inalienable right of international state system membership to a version that incorporates the responsibility to protect, thus adding an element of accountability and better standards of behavior into sovereignty’s definition. By looking at Kosovo, East Timor, and South Ossetia, this thesis tracks the construction of the revised meaning of sovereignty as it observes the way the international community attempts to integrate clashing notions of sovereignty (the principles of nonintervention and territorial integrity) as the existing governing principle of the international system and emerging trends of human rights and humanitarian intervention.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

Date of Graduation

Spring 5-2012

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Components of Thesis

1 pdf file


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