Susannah O’Sullivan

Title of project: “Examining the language of humanitarian intervention: Spatio-temporal discourse and the cases of Kosovo and Libya”

My research looks at what is often termed the ‘emerging norm’ of armed humanitarian intervention in international politics. It aims to go beyond the typical critique of humanitarian intervention from Marxist and neo-Gramscian traditions which focus on unveiling hidden interests in the foreign policy excursions of the major powers. Instead, it interrogates the language of the humanitarian intervention debate in Kosovo in 1999 and Libya in 2011, drawing upon a poststructuralist methodology of discourse analysis. It argues that specific notions of space and time are deployed by supporters of humanitarian intervention which serve to enable a violent response to wars in other countries, and force out critical questions about the use of force from political debate. More widely the research is inspired by an interest in ethical foreign policy, humanitarianism and the use of force.

Supervisors: Dr. Cristina Masters and Dr. Peter Lawler

Email: Susannah.o’sullivan@postgrad.manchester.ac.uk

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