Beyond the Responsibility to Protect in International Law: An Ethics of Irresponsibility, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Beyond the Responsibility to Protect in International Law

An Ethics of Irresponsibility, 1st Edition

By Angeliki Samara


232 pages

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Hardback: 9780367429706
pub: 2020-09-02
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This book offers a critical appraisal of the international legal idea of the ‘Responsibility to Protect’.

The idea that the international community has a responsibility to protect populations at risk has become the prominent mode and structure of address in response to mass human atrocities, gross human rights violations and large-scale loss of life. Although the ‘international community’ of liberal international law and of legal cosmopolitanism for the most part projects a self-assured collective project, this book maintains that it transforms global ethical responsibility into a project of governance, management and control. Pursuing this argument, and drawing on critical legal literature, critical international relations and on ideas of responsibility and ethical relationality in the work of Jacques Derrida and Judith Butler, the book develops a concept of ‘irresponsibility’. This concept is then juxtaposed to the dominant Responsibility to Protect discourse. By exposing and acknowledging ‘the sites of irresponsibility’ of the Responsibility to Protect, the book argues that irresponsibility itself can become the condition of ethical responsibility and the possibility of justice.

This original approach to an increasingly important topic will prove invaluable to those working in international law, international relations, politics and legal theory.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 From Humanitarian Intervention To The Responsibility To Protect (1945 - 2011);

Chapter 2 Just War, Responsibility To Protect And Punishment;

Chapter 3 The Irresponsibility Of The Responsibility To Protect;

Chapter 4 The Responsibility To Protect As A Foreclosing Structure Of Address;


About the Author

Angeliki Samara is a barrister and a researcher currently based in Cyprus. She holds an LLM in Law and International Security and a PhD in Legal Studies from the University of Sussex, UK. Her research interests revolve around notions of responsibility, critical international legal theory and human rights, international security practices and ethical relationality and the law.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / General
LAW / International
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW / Judicial Power
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy
PHILOSOPHY / Political
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Intergovernmental Organizations
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Genocide & War Crimes
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Disasters & Disaster Relief