Is the R2P Failing? The Controversy about Norm Justification and Norm Application of the Responsibility to Protect

In: Global Responsibility to Protect
Nicole Deitelhoff Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, Germany,

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Recurring contestation of the application of the Responsibility to Protect ( R2P ) in conflict situations has given rise to assessments that portray R2P as not a norm at all, but rather a norm-to-be or one in decay. This article aims to show that norms do not lose their validity because they are contested. All norms rely on applicatory discourses to establish their appropriateness for given situations. Contestation regarding their application can even strengthen norms when it provokes learning processes. Norm validity is at risk if contestation radicalises, that is, turns into norm justification. As yet there are only few signs of radicalisation of the contestation of R2P .

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