Author's School

Graduate School of Arts & Sciences

Author's Department/Program



English (en)

Date of Award

January 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Chair and Committee

Christopher Wellman


Recent wars have led many to believe that the promotion of democracy cannot justify foreign intervention, but this is rash. A government's right to non-intervention should hinge on whether it adequately: 1) protects its subjects' human rights and: 2) represents their collective political will. I argue that when and where the international legal system's ability to enforce human rights matures and the social conditions for better representation emerge, the standards for adequate protection and representation should rise. Since democracy significantly augments both functions of government, eventually the right to non-intervention should depend on maintaining democratic institutions. Failure to do so will at that time provide a: defeasible) justification for pro-democratic intervention, up to an including the use of armed force.


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