sobota 6. srpna 2011

Review Gibbs, David. First Do No Harm: Humanitarian Intervention and the Destruction of Yugoslavia. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 2009, 346 pages, ISBN: 978-0-8265-1643-5

First Do No Harm by David Gibbs, an associate professor of History and Political Science at the University of Arizona, US, represents one of the most instigative and well-researched accounts on the legacy of the humanitarian intervention in the Balkans in the 1990s. The book is the result of a research of several years by Professor Gibbs. He takes a very skeptical approach towards the basic merits of humanitarian intervention in general and presents his findings on the Yugoslav example. For that matter, the book is aimed at providing a short but apt assessment of humanitarian intervention and, on a more extensive and exemplary basis, it investigates the Yugoslav conflict through the corresponding lens. The author holds very critical attitudes and tries to reexamine claims purported by other studies. Thus this book stands in clear opposition to a number of other volumes dealing with the same topic. Lastly, it is important to mention that the author addressed and investigated a considerable number of sources in five different categories: (1) testimonies from the war crimes trial of Slobodan Milosevic at the ICTY, (2) memoirs published by a range of diplomats and public officials, (3) analyses of leading newspapers and journals, (4) official hearings and investigations in the US, the UK and the Netherlands, and (5) official documents from the US, various European countries and the UN. In this respect, this study is of specific relevance as it is extensive in its approach due to its being based on a large-scale research of a vast number of sources which, combined together, provide for the author’s critical attitude.

Note: The full text is available in the Journal Perspectives Vol.19, No.1, 2011, Review of International Affairs, Institute of International Relations Prague,

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