The International Politics of Human Rights : Rallying to the R2P Cause? book cover
1st Edition

The International Politics of Human Rights
Rallying to the R2P Cause?

ISBN 9780415626347
Published December 20, 2013 by Routledge
312 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

The responsibility to protect (R2P) is at a crossroads, the latest in a journey that is only ten years old. This book present debates on the prevention of mass atrocities to R2P’s normative prospects.

The book addresses key questions as a way to inform and drive on-going conversations about R2P. Moving beyond well-rehearsed debates about the tensions and meanings around sovereignty in R2P practice, the book focuses on advancing the credibility of the preventive dimensions of R2P, whilst simultaneously examining the extent of R2P’s current value-added in state decision making—especially for the 2011 actions in Libya and Côte d’Ivoire.

Questions addressed include:

  • Did the R2P framework of the 2005 World Summit Declaration intend to mould sovereignty, and if so how?
  • Can R2P break or revert cycles of violence?
  • How can one determine the appropriate duration and timing of the preventive and protective phases of R2P?
  • Who/what should be the targets of preventive action, and how does this have an impact on R2P diplomacy?
  • Under which conditions are particular policy tools likely to be effective?
  • Which state and regional actors are best suited to using these tools?
  • What are the barriers to successful preventive action—how can they be overcome?
  • What capacities need to be built (at the national, regional, and international levels) in order to operationalize R2P’s preventive agenda?

Examining a wide range of countries, this work will be essential reading for students and scholars of international human rights, international organizations, peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PREVENT: APPLYING DIVERSE TOOLS 1. Mediation and the prevention of mass atrocities, Eileen Babbitt 2. From coercive to protective tools: the evolution of targeted sanctions, Alexandra dos Rios and George A. Lopez 3. Monitoring and fact-finding by UN human rights mechanisms, Ekkehard Strauss 4. International criminal justice, Martin Mennecke PART TWO: THE RESPOSIBILITY TO REACT: VALUE ADDED IN THE FIRST DECADE 5. Brazil and R2P: responsibility while protecting, Monica Herz 6. India and R2P’s burdens of dissent and accommodation, Kudrat Virk 7. Is China like the other permanent members? 8. governmental and academic debates on R2P, Liu Tiewa 9. South Africa and Nigeria: R2P as "every African is his brother's keeper", Adekeye Adebajo 10. Turkey and R2P: ambivalence in promoting human rights? Philip Robins 11. Flesh on doctrinal bones? the United States and R2P, Tom J. Farer and Claudia Fuentes Julio 12. R2P’s unfinished journey, Mónica Serrano and Thomas G. Weiss

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Mónica Serrano is Professor of International Relations at El Colegio de México, Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies, Oxford University and a Senior Fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies, CUNY.

Thomas G. Weiss has been Presidential Professor of Political Science at The CUNY Graduate Center and Director of the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies since 1998.


"an unusually broad and rich basis for judging the normative development of the responsibility to protect" Edward C. Luck, Dean, Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, University of San Diego, and former special advisor to the UN secretary-general.

"By examining the application of R2P in the context of situations on the ground, this important book will be enormously useful to practitioners." David Tolbert, President, International Center for Transitional Justice.

"This superb and wide-ranging collection of essays provides key insights into the pluses and minuses of the R2P norm in explaining action and inaction in Libya and Syria. A must-read for analysts, advocates, and actors." Prof. Sheri P. Rosenberg, Director, Holocaust, Genocide & Human Rights Program, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.