Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Katja Favretto

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2018 Lauren E Mounts


This thesis seeks to identify the factors necessary to drive the United States to intervene in a humanitarian crisis. While some scholars have argued that humanitarianism in and of itself is a sufficient reason for an armed military intervention – I challenge this assumption and argue that while the United States can exhibit humanitarian impulses at times, that there are very observable limitations to these impulses. I argue that while humanitarianism can be a factor in the decision to intervene, that ultimately either national interest or another domestic political channel must also fervently push for intervention in order for action to occur. In testing my hypothesis, I examine American foreign policy in four modern humanitarian crises – Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Syria.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.