Stimson in the News

Op-ed by Abhijit Iyer-Mitra in Business Standard on the Cost of War

in Program
has a very convoluted relationship with Human Rights. On one hand while technology allowed industrial scale slaughter, the advent of the digital and information ages starting in the 1970s had sharply reduced collateral damage in most wars fought by first world countries since the 1990s. This curve where the largely developed west is able to fight wars avoiding large scale civilian casualties has pushed the boundaries of law like never before. 
 
To be clear much of what we consider human rights though aspirational and desirable in theory, tends to become high politics in practice. These laws are still an evolving field; when you hear “activists” yell “human rights violation” you had better take it with a large pinch of salt. At best these can be described as ideas that gain normative power because of their acceptance by developed countries that have great economic salience and tend to project power overseas with an irritating regularity.
 
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