1st Edition

The Responsibility to Protect Norms, Laws and the Use of Force in International Politics

By Ramesh Thakur Copyright 2011
    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    240 Pages
    by Routledge

    This volume is a collection of the key writings of Professor Ramesh Thakur on norms and laws regulating the international use of force.

    The adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) principle by world leaders assembled at the UN summit in 2005 is widely acknowledged to represent one of the great normative advances in international politics since 1945. The author has been involved in this shift from the dominant norm of non-intervention to R2P as an actor, public intellectual and academic and has been a key thinker in this process. These essays represent the author's writings on R2P, including reference to test cases as they arose, such as with Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar in 2008.

    Comprising essays by a key thinker and agent in the Responsibility to Protect debates, this book will be of much interest to students of international politics, human rights, international law, war and conflict studies, international security and IR in general.

    1. Introduction: Norms and Laws in International Relations  2. Non-Intervention in International Relations: A Case Study  3. Kosovo, Humanitarian Intervention and the Challenge of World Order (with Albrecht Schnabel)  4. Global Norms and International Humanitarian Law: An Asian Perspective  5. Intervention, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: Experiences from ICISS  6. In Defence of The Responsibility to Protect  7. Collective Security and the Use of Force: Reflections on the Report of the High-Level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change  8. The Responsibility to Protect and Prosecute: The Parallel Erosion of Sovereignty and Impunity (with Vesselin Popovski)  9. R2P: From Idea to Norm – and Action? (with Thomas G. Weiss)  10. The Responsibility to Protect and the North-South Divide  11. R2P and the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict  12. Conclusion: Normative Incoherence, Inconsistency and Contestation


    Ramesh Thakur is Professor of International Relations in the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University and Adjunct Professor in the Institute for Ethics, Governance and Law at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. He was a Commissioner for the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), and one of the principal authors of their report The Responsibility to Protect (2001). He was also Senior Advisor on Reforms and Principal Writer of the United Nations Secretary-General’s second reform report (2002). He is author or editor of over thirty books and 300 articles and book chapters.

    ‘In these penetrating essays, Ramesh Thakur lays out not only the dilemmas but also the ways that the emerging norm of the responsibility to protect permits critics—be they from the global South or North—to pursue their pragmatic and principled impulses to come to the rescue.' - Thomas G. Weiss, The Graduate Center, CUNY

    ‘In this powerful collection of essays spanning two decades of his writings, Ramesh Thakur demonstrates a deep and abiding commitment to protecting victims of atrocity crimes while navigating through the often competing pulls of North-South and scholar-practitioner perspectives.’ - Martti Ahtisaari, Chairman, Crisis Management Initiative

    ‘Ramesh Thakur’s essays comprehensively track the evolution and impact of the doctrine that has begun to fundamentally change the way the world thinks about mass atrocity crimes. This book will intrigue, and be of real value to, both practical policymakers and academics interested in normative and conceptual issues.' - Gareth Evans, Co-Chair, International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty

    'A good overview of the debates around humanitarian intervention associated with the NATO campaign in Kosovo, the genesis of the R2P doctrine and the doctrine’s progressive development.' - International Affairs

    'For those not familiar with Thakur’s work, this book undoubtedly represents an R2P tour de force and a ‘greatest hits’ collection that is worthy of a place in any R2P collection.’ – Adrian M. Gallagher, University of Leicester, Political Studies Review, Vol 10:3, Sept. 2012