India and the Responsibility to Protect: A Tale of Ambiguity

in Global Responsibility to Protect
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Military intervention to halt atrocities is one of the most contentious aspects of R2P and with which India has often expressed disagreement in the past. Since the 2005 World Summit, however, there has been an apparent softening in that opposition. This article takes a close-up look at the empirical record, revealing ambiguity in Indian attitudes from the outset that militates against categorizing them as either ‘for’ or ‘against’ humanitarian intervention. The portrait that emerges is of a reactive actor driven incrementally away from a default preference for sovereignty as autonomy, whilst harbouring deep concerns about armed intervention. This article suggests that cautious and reluctant accommodation offers the best description of India’s still unresolved stance on humanitarian intervention. That fits in with a broad preference for pragmatism in foreign policy, which has struggled to balance traditional concerns with a ‘new’ ambition to acquire and sustain greater power-political influence in a changing world.

India and the Responsibility to Protect: A Tale of Ambiguity

in Global Responsibility to Protect

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References

5

S/PV.1989 (OR) 22 March 1977p. 7.

6

S/PV.2046 (OR) 4 November 1977p. 7.

7

C. Raja MohanCrossing the Rubicon: The Shaping of India’s New Foreign Policy (Delhi: Penguin Books2005) pp. 237-241. See also Stephen Philip Cohen India: Emerging Power (Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press 2001) pp. 127-155; A.Z. Hilali ‘India’s Strategic Thinking and Its National Security Policy’ Asian Survey 41/5: 737-764 (2001); Radkha Kumar ‘Sovereignty and Intervention: Opinions in South Asia’ in Pugwash Study Group on Intervention Sovereignty and International Security ‘Papers from the Como Workshop’ Pugwash Occasional Papers 2/1 January 2001 http://www.pugwash.org accessed 12 May 2012.

9

Nicholas J. WheelerSaving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press2000) pp. 60-65. See also S/PV.1606 4 December 1971; S/PV.1607 5 December 1971; and S/PV.1608 6 December 1971.

12

 See C. Raja Mohan‘Balancing Interests and Values: India’s Struggle with Democracy Promotion’The Washington Quarterly30/3: 99-115 (2007). See also Mehta ‘Still Under Nehru’s Shadow?’.

13

Mukherjee and Malone‘Indian Foreign Policy and Contemporary Security Challenges’ p. 94.

14

C. Raja Mohan‘India and the Balance of Power’Foreign Affairs85/4: 17-32 (2006) p. 19.

15

Raja MohanCrossing the Rubicon p. 45.

17

 See Andrew B. Kennedy‘India’s Nuclear Odyssey: Implicit Umbrellas, Diplomatic Disappointments, and the Bomb’International Security36/2: 120-153 (2011) which traces the disintegration of India’s confidence in the security umbrella of extant nuclear states and in international institutions to provide for its national security.

18

Alex J. BellamyResponsibility to Protect: The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities (Cambridge: Polity Press2009) p. 88. See also Nicholas J. Wheeler ‘A Victory for Common Humanity? The Responsibility to Protect after the 2005 World Summit’ Journal of International Law and International Relations 2/1: 95-107 (2005).

25

S/PV.2982 5 April 1991pp. 62-63.

27

GharekhanThe Horseshoe Table p. 59.

28

A/46/PV.11 2 October 1991p. 24.

29

S/RES/794 3 December 1992p. 3.

30

S/PV.3145 3 December 1992pp. 49-50.

31

WheelerSaving Strangers p. 187.

32

Paul Lewis‘Key U.N. Members Agree to U.S. Force in Somalia Mission’The New York Times3 December 1992 p. A1.

33

S/PV.3145 3 December 1992p. 51.

34

WheelerSaving Strangers p. 184.

36

Alan Bullion‘India and UN Peacekeeping Operations’International Peacekeeping4/1: 98-114 (1997) p. 106.

40

S/PV.4139 11 May 2000pp. 23-25.

41

 See for example‘India Has No Strategic Interest in Sierra Leone’The Hindu18 August 2000 http://www.lexisnexis.com/uk/nexis/ accessed 26 December 2007.

43

S/1999/328 26 March 1999p. 1.

44

S/PV.3988 24 March 1999pp. 15-16 and S/PV.3989 26 March 1999 pp. 15-16.

45

S/PV.3988 24 March 1999pp. 15-16.

46

S/PV.3989 26 March 1999p. 16.

47

S/PV.3988 24 March 1999p. 16.

51

S/PV.3980 22 February 1999p. 17.

57

A/54/PV.27 6 October 1999p. 20.

58

S/PV.3980 22 February 1999p. 17.

59

A/54/PV.9 22 September 1999p. 41.

62

A/48/PV.12 1 October 1993p. 13.

66

A/54/PV.27 6 October 1999p. 20.

68

S/PV.3980 22 February 1999p. 18.

71

BellamyResponsibility to Protect p. 88.

73

Hardeep Singh Puri 24 July 2009http://www.un.int/india/2009/ind1584.pdf accessed 1 February 2011.

74

A/60/L.1 20 September 2005p.31.

79

S/PV.6498 17 March 2011pp. 5-6.

80

S/PV.6491 26 February 2011pp. 2-3.

81

Siddharth Varadarajan‘Odyssey Dawn, A Homeric Tragedy’The Hindu24 March 2011 http://svaradarajan.blogspot.com/2011/03/odyssey-dawn-homeric-tragedy.html accessed 11 April 2011.

84

Sumit Ganguly‘Enlightened Self-Interest or Moral Outage?’ Deccan Chronicle24 March 2011 www.deccanchronicle.com/editorial/dc-comment/enlightened-self-interest-or-moral-outage-243 accessed 24 March 2012.

85

 See Ian Hall‘Tilting at Windmills? The Indian Debate over the Responsibility to Protect after UNSC Resolution 1973’Global Responsibility to Protect5/1: 84-108 (2013).

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