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Abstract

This specific research seeks to determine which international mechanisms exist to protect human rights and what factors influence the efficacy of these mechanisms. Assessing the efficacy of international peacekeeping in the Bosnian genocide is immensely significant as the actions taken in Bosnia have set the precedent for humanitarian intervention since that time. In order to gain a broad and encompassing understanding of the complexities of the Bosnian genocide I broke my research down into five categories. Initially, this research seeks to explain the background and context out of which the Bosnian genocide arose. Then it addresses the controversial question of humanitarian intervention, through seeking to understand the main arguments for and against intervention in the given timeframe and analyzing the effect they had on humanitarian intervention in Bosnia.

It also addresses global diplomatic climate in the wake of the Cold War to determine its role in shaping international involvement in the Bosnian crisis. Once the framework had been established, this research seeks to understand the role of three prominent peacekeeping bodies; the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United States. It addresses the role that each peacekeeping body played, the factors, which influenced their involvement, and the ramifications of their actions. Most importantly, this research seeks to understand and emphasize the importance of an engaged and active citizenry in protecting human rights. The efficacy of all three peacekeeping bodies addressed in this research is dependent on the level of pressure and support from the citizenry. A disengaged citizenry is detrimental to the process of humanitarian intervention, regardless of the other mechanisms in place, as intervention is typically oppositional to national and economic interests.

Therefore, without an engaged citizenry governments and other international organizations are not held accountable for neglecting humanitarian intervention. The genocide in Bosnia serves as a model situation illuminating the consequences of a disengaged citizenry. In an era where human rights were on the forefront, but public support for global involvement was diminishing the importance of an engaged citizenry become irrefutably clear.

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