Reassessing the Responsibility to Protect: Conceptual and Operational Challenges, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Reassessing the Responsibility to Protect

Conceptual and Operational Challenges, 1st Edition

Edited by Brett R. O'Bannon


166 pages

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This book explores conceptual and operational questions regarding the development and implementation of the Responsibility to Protect.

The mass atrocity norm known as the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has enjoyed meteoric success since the concept was introduced in 2001. But perhaps precisely because of how quickly the concept secured its privileged place in the pantheon of ideas and concerns in international affairs, many fundamental questions remain concerning its origins, its conceptual contents, and its relevance to actual cases of mass atrocity. This book seeks to explore that terrain by drawing together a group of scholars diverse enough to engage with the complex array of political, legal and ethical questions raised by R2P. Critical questions raised here include: What are the limits of the authority that R2P confers on international actors? What does the evolution of R2P mean for North-South relations? Just how significant is R2P in the context of the broader human rights landscape? In addition to those conceptual and theoretical matters, special attention is given to the operational context in which the meaning of R2P is ultimately rendered. As events in Africa have figured so significantly into the norm’s development, the contributors pay special attention to the problems and prospects of mass atrocity prevention in that context.

This volume will be of much interest to students of the Responsibility to Protect, war and conflict studies, peacebuilding, international law, and IR/Security Studies.

Table of Contents

Introduction, Brett O’Bannon 1. The Responsibility to Protect and the Limits of International Authority, Anne Orford 2. Understanding the Gap between the Promise and the Reality of ‘The Responsibility to Protect’, David Chandler 3. The Rise and Fall (and Supposed Rise Again) of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) as a Norm of International Law: R2P in the Human Rights Landscape, Jeremy Sarkin 4. Africa: Is there a State? Implications of Statelessness for a State-Centric Human Protection Norm, Brett R. O'Bannon 5. The Responsibility to Protect in the Congo: The Failure of Prevention, Séverine Autesserre 6. United Nations Action in Sri Lanka and the Responsibility to Protect, Alex J. Bellamy 7. The Unintended Consequences of UN peacekeeping in post-war South Sudan: Why Everyone Wants a Uniform, Carol Berger 8. Crying Out for Action: Do the Dead Say Anything about the Responsibility to Protect?, John K. Roth

About the Editor

Brett R. O’Bannon is Leonard E. and Mary B. Howell Professor of Political Science and Director of Conflict Studies at DePauw University, USA, and Senior Fellow, Canadian Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

About the Series

Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect

This book series aims to gather the best new thinking about the Responsibility to Protect into a core set of volumes that provides a definitive account of the principle, its implementation, and role in crises, reflecting a plurality of views and regional perspectives.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

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