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Revisiting coercion as an element of prohibited intervention in international law

Milanovic, M. ORCID: (2023) Revisiting coercion as an element of prohibited intervention in international law. American Journal of International Law, 117 (4). pp. 601-650. ISSN 2161-7953

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1017/ajil.2023.40


International law prohibits states from intervening in the internal and external affairs of other states, but only if the method of intervention is coercive. This Article argues that coercion can be understood in two different ways or models. First, as coercion-as-extortion, a demand coupled with a threat of harm or the infliction of harm, done to extract some kind of concession from the victim state—in other words, an act targeting the victim state's will or decision-making calculus. Second, as coercion-as-control, an action materially depriving the victim state of its ability to control its sovereign choices. This may be done even through acts like cyber operations that the victim state is entirely unaware of. The Article argues that many of the difficulties surrounding the notion of coercion arise as a consequence of failing to distinguish between these two different models.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Law
ID Code:112577
Publisher:Cambridge University Press


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