Do the Geneva Conventions Matter?

ISBN : 9780199379781

Matthew Evangelista; Nina Tannenwald
376 ページ
156 x 235 mm

The Geneva Conventions are the best-known and longest-established laws governing warfare, but what difference do they make to how states engage in armed conflict? Since the start of the "War on Terror" with 9/11, these protocols have increasingly been incorporated into public discussion. We have entered an era where contemporary wars often involve terrorism and guerrilla tactics, but how have the rules that were designed for more conventional forms of interstate violence adjusted? Do the Geneva Conventions Matter? provides a rich, comparative analysis of the laws that govern warfare and a more specific investigation relating to state practice. Matthew Evangelista and Nina Tannenwald convey the extent and conditions that symbolic or "ritual" compliance translates into actual compliance on the battlefield by looking at important studies across history. To name a few, they navigate through the Algerian War for independence from France in the 1950s and 1960s; the US wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan; Iranian and Israeli approaches to the laws of war; and the legal obligations of private security firms and peacekeeping forces. Thoroughly researched, this work adds to the law and society literature in sociology, the constructivist literature in international relations, and legal scholarship on "internalization." Do the Geneva Conventions Matter? gives insight into how the Geneva regime has constrained guerrilla warfare and terrorism and the factors that affect protect human rights in wartime.


1. Assessing the Effects and Effectiveness of the Geneva Conventions, Nina Tannenwald
2. The Origins and Evolution of the 1949 Geneva Conventions and the 1977 Additional Protocols, Giovanni Mantilla
3. The Struggle to Fight a Humane War: The United States, the Korean War, and the 1949 Geneva Conventions, Sahr Conway-Lanz
4. America, the 1949 Geneva Conventions, and War Crime Courts-martial in the Vietnam Conflict, Gary D. Solis
5. Geneva Convention Compliance in Iraq and Afghanistan, Elizabeth Grimm Arsenault
6. The French Army and the Geneva Conventions during the Algerian War of Independence and After, Raphaelle Branche
7. Russia, Chechnya, and the Geneva Conventions, 1994-2006: Norms and the Problem of Internalization, Mark Kramer
8. The Application of International Humanitarian Law by the Israel Defence Forces: A Legal and Organizational Analysis, Amichai Cohen and Eyal Ben-Ari
9. Noncompliance with the Geneva Conventions in the Wars of Yugoslav Secession, R. Craig Nation
10. Be Karbala Miravim! Iran or the Challenges of Internalizing International Humanitarian Law in a Muslim Country, Anicee Van Engeland
11. Private Military and Security Companies, Renee de Nevers
12. The Geneva Conventions: Do they matter in the context of peacekeeping missions?, Siobhan Wills
13. How the Geneva Conventions Matter, Matthew Evangelista


Matthew Evangelista is President White Professor of History and Political Science and former chair of the Department of Government at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA, where he teaches courses in international and comparative politics. His current research interests include international humanitarian law, separatist movements, and gender and conflict.; Nina Tannenwald is a faculty fellow at the Watson Institute and Director of the International Relations Program. She is also a senior lecturer in the Department of Political Science.