It is commonly believed that humanitarian interventions are a fairly recent development. But certain European powers began to claim a moral and political right to intervene in other states' affairs to save people from “massacres” or “extermination” already two centuries ago. In the beginning, humanitarian interventions where almost exclusively focused on the Ottoman Empire.How can we understand this development vis-à-vis the rise of imperialism and colonialism in the same period of time? What were the motives for aiding humanity, for state action or inaction?  In this seminar we will try to find answers to these questions. We will also critically reflect about what lessons can be learned for similar actions today and how humanitarian interventions have become an important feature in global politics.

Semester: SuTerm 2021