The media and international intervention

Akiba Cohen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


As these lines are being written (March 1999), NATO forces are attacking Serbia in an effort to prevent Serbian attacks and bloodshed in Kosovo. This is just the latest in a series of foreign interventions in the affairs of sovereign states. During the past several decades, there have been a number of salient cases in which one country or group of countries, or international organization, have become involved in events and internal affairs of other countries. The most blatant form of intervention entails diplomatic and/or military steps amounting to taking sides with or assisting one or more party in a conflict. A good example of this kind of intervention was Operation Desert Storm in the winter of 1991, in which a coalition of states, sanctioned by the UN Security Council, attacked Iraq, following the invasion of Kuwait by Iraq several months earlier. Another example is the 1999 NATO intervention in Serbia. A different form of involvement and intervention can be altruistic in nature, with a focus on (or at least under the pretext of) providing humanitarian aid in cases of natural disasters or man-made catastrophes. Examples of this are the mass starvation in Somalia in 1992, the creation of a Humanitarian Zone between the Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda in 1994 and the care for numerous refugees following the coup in Haiti in 1994. In most cases, the initiator of the intervention is one or more foreign government. Sometimes, however, it is the government of the nation in which the crisis or problem occurs that seeks foreign intervention. Finally, on some occasions, the media (notably television) are responsible for placing the subject on the agenda, which in turn triggers the involvement.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Intervention
Subtitle of host publicationSovereignty versus Responsibility
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781135312626
ISBN (Print)0714681946, 9781315040035
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2014


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