Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect: Interrogating Theory and Practice, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Critical Perspectives on the Responsibility to Protect

Interrogating Theory and Practice, 1st Edition

Edited by Philip Cunliffe


160 pages

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This edited volume critically examines the widely supported doctrine of the 'Responsibility to Protect', and investigates the claim that it embodies progressive values in international politics.

Since the United Nations World Summit of 2005, a remarkable consensus has emerged in support of the doctrine of the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) – the idea that states and the international community bear a joint duty to protect peoples around the world from mass atrocities. While there has been plenty of discussion over how this doctrine can best be implemented, there has been no systematic criticism of the principles underlying R2P. This volume is the first critically to interrogate both the theoretical principles and the policy consequences of this doctrine.

The authors in this collection argue that the doctrine of R2P does not in fact embody progressive values, and they explore the possibility that the R2P may undermine political accountability within states and international peace between them. This volume not only advances a novel set of arguments, but will also spur debate by offering views that are seldom heard in discussions of R2P. The aim of the volume is to bring a range of criticisms to bear from a variety of disciplinary perspectives, including international law, political science, IR theory and security studies.

This book will be of much interest to students of the Responsibility to Protect, humanitarian intervention, human security, critical security studies and IR in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction Philip Cunliffe Part 1: The Responsibility to Protect: History and Politics 2. The Skeleton in the Closet: The Responsibility to Protect in History Noam Chomsky 3. Understanding the Gap between the Promise and Reality of the Responsibility to Protect David Chandler 4. The Responsibility to Protect and the End of the Western Century Tara McCormack Part 2: The Responsibility to Protect: International Law and Order 5. A Dangerous Duty: Power, Paternalism and the Global ‘Duty of Care’ Philip Cunliffe 6. Responsibility to Peace: A Critique of R2P Mary Ellen O'Connell 7. The Responsibility to Protect and International Law Aidan Hehir Part 3: The Responsibility to Protect in Africa 8. The Irresponsibility of the Responsibility to Protect in Africa Adam Branch 9. Responsibility to Protect or Right to Punish? Mahmood Mamdani

About the Editor

Philip Cunliffe is a lecturer in the School of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kent, Canterbury

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Intervention and Statebuilding

The series publishes monographs and edited collections analysing a wide range of policy interventions associated with statebuilding. It asks broader questions about the dynamics, purposes and goals of this interventionist framework and assesses the impact of externally-guided policy-making.

Advisory Board: Berit Bliesemann de Guevara, Aberystwyth University; Morten Boas, NUPI; Adam Branch, San Diego State University; David Chandler, University of Westminster; Adrian Gallagher, University of Leeds; Luke Glanville, Australian National University; Shahar Hameiri, Murdoch University; John Heathershaw, University of Exeter; Eric Heinze, University of Oklahoma; Robert Murray, University of Alberta; Lee P. M. Seymour, University of Amsterdam; Timea Spitka, Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights