ABSTRACT: The concept of moral hazard, born in insurance studies, has recently been adopted by international relations theory where it is primarily applied to humanitarian intervention. This article cautions against too hasty an embracement of the concept by IR scholars. Arguing that important theoretical differences exist between the original and the new milieu in which the concept is used, the text suggests that the concept needs to be de(re)fined to better capture the reality of humanitarian intervention. Endorsing some of the proposals made by other scholars, the text also introduces two new variables (the probability of genocidal violence, and the probability of intervention) that should help to account for the role played in humanitarian intervention scenarios by the territorial state.
KEYWORDS: moral hazard, humanitarian intervention, IR theory, genocidal violence