to Content
Header Image

03: Democratic Interventionism or Responsibility to Protect?

Seminar / Seminar
german language

Democratic interventionism (DI) intends to export democratic forms of government to previously non-democratic states by military means. Cases include the interventions in Iraq in 2003, in Libya in 2011, and the current situation in Syria. In this connection, two legal and ethical questions arise: First, under which conditions do opposition groups have a right to resort to the use of force against an oppressive regime and, ultimately, even instigate a civil war? Second, do third states have the right to support such developments with the perspective of achieving a regime change and/or of preparing the ground for the call for a “humanitarian intervention”? One possible approach to justify DI is the new concept of “Responsibility to Protect” (R2P), endorsed in various UN documents since 2004. If a state fails to fulfil its basic duty to protect its people from grave human rights violations, the international community, as the bearer of a “subsidiary” responsibility to protect, is called upon to help, ultimately even by the use of force. The seminar will clarify the normative problems of DI indicated above, and aims to develop possible solutions from the perspective of both public international law and legal ethics.

Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg
Professor of Political Philosophy, Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld

Dr. iur. Reinhard MERKEL

Professor of Criminal Law and Philosophy of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Hamburg

Erstes juristisches Staatsexamen, München Zweites juristisches Staatsexamen, München Assistent am Institut für Rechtsphilosophie, München Redakteur der Wochenzeitung "Die Zeit" (Feuilleton) Promotion ("Strafrecht und Satire im Werk von Karl Kraus"), München Habilitation ("Früheuthanasie"), Frankfurt am Main Ruf an die Universitäten Bielefeld und Rostock Ruf an die Universität Hamburg
 Studium der Rechtswissenschaft, der Philosophie und der Literaturwissenschaft in Bochum, Heidelberg und München

Dr. Veronique ZANETTI

Professor of Political Philosophy, Faculty of History, Philosophy and Theology, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld

Studies in Philosophy, Musicology and English Literature, Geneva University Staff member with Professor Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (now at Stanford University), Siegen Assistant prof. at the Geneva University, Geneva Assistant prof. at the University Bern with Professor Gerhard Seel PhD on Kant s philosophy of nature: La Nature a-t-elle une fin? Le problème de la téléologie chez Kant Assistant prof. at the University of Fribourg by prof. Jean-Claude Wolf Grand from the Swiss National Funds for Research During that period (visiting scholar at Columbia University in New York by Prof. Thomas Pogge) Habilitation in philosophy in Fribourg with a study on the ethical aspects of humanitarian Intervention: "Universalisme des droits et stratégies de paix. Réflexions éthiques autour du droit d intervention humanitaire"

Seminar Week

show timetable
Kategorie: all Plenary Seminar


15:00 - 15:15 Opening of the European Forum Alpbach 2013 Plenary
15:15 - 15:30 Opening Concert Part I: Premiere of “The Light of Experience” Plenary
15:30 - 16:30 Opening Speeches Plenary
17:00 - 17:30 Opening Concert Part II Plenary
17:30 - 19:00 Presentation of the Seminars Plenary


Seminar 03: Democratic Interventionism or Responsibility to Protect? Seminar
Seminar 07: Between Faith and Atheism – Values and the Variety of Spiritual Experiences Seminar
Seminar 01: New Approaches to Security – Cooperation, Concentration and Integration Seminar
Seminar 08: The Evil in Art Seminar
Seminar 06: Exploring the Universe: Competition or Cooperation? Seminar
Seminar 05: Values in Science Seminar
Seminar 04: Motivation – A Biological and Social Base Seminar
Seminar 02: Open Data, Open Government, Open Society? Seminar
Seminar 11: What Kind of Foreign Policy – Value-Based or Realpolitik? Seminar
Seminar 12: Human Appropriation of Natural Resources  Challenges, Constraints and Ethical Aspects Seminar
Seminar 09: The Role of the European Court of Human Rights in Protecting and Developing an Open Society Seminar
Seminar 10: Power and Cyberspace Seminar
Seminar 16: Experiences in Migration and Integration: A Cultural Approach Seminar
Seminar 14: Roots of European Values Seminar
Seminar 15: Irrational Behaviour of Individuals: Implications for Economic Policy Seminar
Seminar 13: Synthetic Biology: Social and Ethical Implications Seminar


18:00 - 20:00 International Evening Culture


BarCamp: Transformations Seminar


16:00 - 17:30 Authors in Conversation: The Revolt Against the West and its Values Culture