Res Publica

Article

Rawls en Regime Change

Een onderzoek naar de interne rechtvaardiging van de Amerikaanse inval in Irak van 2003

Keywords United States, Iraq, democratic peace, regime change, Rawls
Authors Femke Avtalyon-Bakker
Author's information

Femke Avtalyon-Bakker
Femke Avtalyon-Bakker is werkzaam als werkgroepdocent aan het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden. Zij rondde daar onlangs de researchmaster af en bereidt zich voor op het schrijven van een dissertatie over de democratische vrede. Haar onderzoeksinteresses zijn theorieën van de internationale betrekkingen, politiek gedrag en politieke cultuur.
  • Abstract

      This article analyzes the US internal justification to invade Iraq in 2003 through a study of the ‘Bush Doctrine’ of 2002, several Congressional acts and resolutions on Iraq, and Presidential speeches before and during the mobilization of US forces. It argues that in order to find domestic support, regime change was one of the main goals, despite the references the US made to UN resolutions. Second, this paper uses Rawls’ ideas to analyze the US decision to democratize Iraq. The results of this study show how political philosophy can be used and abused to shape foreign policy. Rawls’ theory could have provided the US with a moral justification based on the liberal peace assumptions that were underlying their foreign policy. However, the US did not make a consistent appeal to those assumptions and acted like a Rawlsian ‘outlaw state’ instead. Therefore, this paper argues, the US lost the liberal justification to overthrow Saddam Hussein’s regime in favor of democracy.

Please sign in to access the article



Did you receive an activation code but no access yet? Please activate your code here.

Forgot your password? Request new password.