Contemporary scenes of human conflict, cruelty and catastrophe have prompted calls for the international community to intervene in defence of our common humanity. At the same time, the 2003 US-led military intervention in Iraq to oust a domestic tyrant, Saddam Hussein, has generated great normative debate about its legitimacy. Tapping insights and controversies from feminist political theory, Lu argues that debates between realists, communitarians, and cosmopolitans about the ethics of intervention in world politics are disciplined by competing models of the public/private distinction. A focus on this construct illuminates alternative images of 'sovereignty as privacy ' and 'sovereignty as responsibility', and identified new ethical challenges arising from the increased agency of private global civil society actors, and their uneasy relationship with the world of states in contexts of 'humanitarian intervention'. This book should interest scholars of international ethics, world order, human right, international law and society, and global civil society.