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"Revolution and Intervention" by Professor Massimo Renzo


Congratulations to Professor Massimo Renzo, whose paper has has recently appeared in Noûs, a notable philosophy journal.

Professor Renzo's paper "Revolution and Intervention", argues that provided traditional jus ad bellum principles are fulfilled, military humanitarian intervention to stop large scale violations of human rights (such as genocide, crimes against humanity or war crimes) is widely regarded as morally permissible. In cases of “supreme humanitarian emergency”, not only are the victims morally permitted to rebel, but other states are also permitted to militarily intervene. Things are different if the human rights violations in question fall short of supreme humanitarian emergency. Because of the importance of respecting political self‐determination, in cases of “ordinary oppression”, we normally think that rebellion might be permissible, but not military humanitarian intervention. Thus, according to the received view, the conditions for the permissibility of intervention coincide with the conditions for the permissibility of revolution in cases of supreme humanitarian emergency, but not in cases of ordinary oppression. In cases of ordinary oppression there is an asymmetry between the conditions for the permissibility of revolution and intervention (call this the Asymmetry View). Should we accept the Asymmetry View? He answers this question by outlining an account of political self‐determination and by illustrating the complex role that this notion should play in discussing the morality of revolution and intervention.

The full paper can be found here.

Noûs, a premier philosophy journal, publishes articles that make standalone, substantial contributions. It ranges across the full breadth of philosophy and its history. No particular methodology is required.



About Professor Massimo Renzo

Professor Massimo Renzo joined The Dickson Poon School of Law in July, 2015 as a Reader in Politics, Philosophy & Law. Previously he was an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Warwick and before that, a Lecturer at the York Law School. He has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the universities of Virginia and Arizona, the Centre for Ethics and Public Affairs at the Murphy Institute (Tulane University) and Osgoode Hall’s Nathanson Centre for Transnational Human Rights, Crime & Security. Professor Renzo is an affiliated researcher at the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War & Peace and the Honorary Secretary of the Society for Applied Philosophy. He is also one of the editors of the journal Criminal Law and Philosophy.