Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect

Security and human rights

By Cristina Gabriela Badescu

© 2011 – Routledge

212 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415532440
pub: 2012-03-22
US Dollars$54.95
Hardback: 9780415586276
pub: 2010-11-17
US Dollars$150.00

About the Book

This book explores attempts to develop a more acceptable account of the principles and mechanisms associated with humanitarian intervention, which has become known as the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (R2P).

Cases of genocide and mass violence have raised endless debates about the theory and practice of humanitarian intervention to save innocent lives. Since the humanitarian tragedies in Rwanda, Burundi, Bosnia, Kosovo and elsewhere, states have begun advocating a right to undertake interventions to stop mass violations of human rights from occurring. Their central concern rests with whether the UN’s current regulations on the use of force meet the challenges of the post-Cold War world, and in particular the demands of addressing humanitarian emergencies. International actors tend to agree that killing civilians as a necessary part of state formation is no longer acceptable, nor is standing by idly in the face of massive violations of human rights. And yet, respect for the sovereign rights of states remains central among the ordering principles of the international community. How can populations affected by egregious human rights violations be protected? How can the legal constraints on the use of force and respect for state sovereignty be reconciled with the international community’s willingness and readiness to take action in such instances? And more importantly, how can protection be offered when the Security Council, which is responsible for authorizing the use of force when threats to international peace and security occur, is paralyzed? The author addresses these issues, arguing that R2P is the best framework available at present to move the humanitarian intervention debate forward.

This book will be of interest to students of the responsibility to protect, war and conflict studies, human security, international organisations, security studies and IR in general.


"Christina Gabriela Badescu’s work provides a meticulous analysis of the debate over humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect. The author takes the reader by the hand and carefully walks them through the subject matter. From this, a systematic, step-by-step analysis is developed, which provides an accomplished overview of the issues involved. […] the volume provides a superb over-view and is a book that I recommend strongly to those both familiar and unfamiliar with all things R2P." – Adrian M. Gallagher, University of Leicester, Political Studies Review, Vol 10:3, Sept. 2012

"[A] solid, educational contribution to the burgeoning literature on the theory and practice of the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine… Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above."--P. J. Stoett, CHOICE (February 2012)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect Part 1: R2P’s Theoretical Weight 2. The Responsibility to Protect: Sovereignty and Human Rights 3. Who Authorizes Interventions? 4. Who Conducts Interventions? Part 2: R2P’s Practical Dimensions 5. From Concept to Norm 6. From Normative Development to Implementation 7. Conclusion. Bibliography

About the Author

Cristina Gabriela Badescu teaches peace and conflict studies at the University of Toronto, Canada. Her research interests include international relations, human security, transitional justice, and 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
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights