1st Edition

Ethics, Obligation, and the Responsibility to Protect
Contesting the Global Power Relations of Accountability

ISBN 9780367728588
Published December 18, 2020 by Routledge
196 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

This book critically examines arguments about ‘obligation’ and ‘responsibility’ in relation to the responsibility to protect (R2P) and situates it within wider moral argumentation concerning the role of culpability, answerability, and human rights in international affairs.

It discusses the ways in which R2P has been imagined and contested in order to illuminate some possible trajectories through which its potential might be actualized. Crucial to the development of a more ‘responsible’ world politics will be the recognition that formal inter-state ‘regimes’ of responsibility will need to be embedded within wider social ‘fields’ of responsibility constituted by the participation of attentive and mobilized global citizens ready to hold elites accountable. This book provides novel ideas to better understand the role of rhetoric and moral argumentation in international relations. Much of the novel contribution comes in the form of its conceptual breakdown of the ambiguous concept of ‘responsibility,' which often clouds clear understanding not only in international relations, but also in the specific debates over the ethics and practice of the international responsibility to protect regime.

This book will be of much interest to students of the responsibility to protect, human rights, global governance, and international relations in general.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. The Ambiguous Concept of Responsibility  2. Modes of Responsibility and International Relations Theory  3. Fields of Responsibility and the Performativity of Moral Argument  4. The Responsibility to Protect and the Reframing of Sovereignty  5. The Responsibility to Protect at the UN World Summit  6. The Politics of Responsibility and Balancing the R2P  7. R2P Norm ‘Competitors’ and Critical Norm Translation  8. Debating the Responsibility to Protect  9. The Responsibility to Protect and the Reframing of Sovereignty

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Mark Busser is currently Assistant Professor in Political Science at McMaster University, Canada.