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Unravelling the paradox of the 'responsibility to protect'

Chandler, David C. (2009) Unravelling the paradox of the 'responsibility to protect'. Irish Studies in International Affairs, 20 . pp. 27-39. ISSN 0332-1460

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org10.3318/ISIA.2009.20.27


This paper explains that the desire to evade Western responsibility is at the heart of the paradox of ‘the responsibility to protect’ (R2P) doctrine, and that this desire for evasion enables us to understand the gap between the rhetorical promise of ‘never again’ and the reality of a lack of ‘political will’ to intervene in situations where mass atrocities are ongoing. The paper traces the shifting discourse away from the 1990s ‘right to intervene’; through the 2001 International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty’s report re-posing military intervention in the vague terms of ‘the responsibility to protect’; to the 2005 World Summit and 2009 follow-up document, which de-link military intervention from R2P and focus instead upon non-Western state and regional ‘responsibilities’. Through the reworking of the doctrine of the ‘responsibility to protect’, questions of military intervention, which threatened to undermine the UN framework, have been transposed into technical and administrative problems, serving to strengthen and extend UN institutional structures.

Item Type:Article
Research Community:University of Westminster > Social Sciences, Humanities and Languages, School of
ID Code:8245
Deposited On:07 Jul 2010 12:03
Last Modified:07 Jul 2010 12:03

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