France and humanitarian intervention in a climate of contestation (1994–1999)
in France, humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect
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The chapter investigates whether, how and why France continued to play a central role in human protection in the second half of the 1990s and whether its conception and practice of human protection impacted – and was impacted by – humanitarian intervention and the increasing international contestation it face. In order to do this, it investigates the norm contestation faced by humanitarian intervention – and more specifically, the role played by France in deepening this contestation – along with the challenges faced by France during its participation to United Nations interventions undertaken for humanitarian purposes. It argues that despite this challenging context, the various executives did not promote a normative rollback, and emphasises the role played by France’s domestic norm of human protection. It then explains that in order to fulfil France’s perceived duty to protect without endangering its rank, and to address some domestic and international constraints, however, France’s practice of human protection evolved considerably and contributed greatly to the reinforcement of the global trend of delegating humanitarian intervention to multilateral organisations and adopting more robust strategies in the field. The last section illustrates these changes by continuing the case study of France’s involvement in former Yugoslavia and, more specifically, by focusing on its interventions in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo.

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