This article responds to the 2013 un Secretary General’s (unsg) annual report on the Responsibility to Protect (r2p), titled ‘State Responsibility and Prevention’. The orientation of r2p as a tool for addressing risk factors for atrocity crimes in domestic contexts indicates a conceptual deepening and widening of r2p to provide states with an atrocity prevention lens within their jurisdiction. This article examines state policies and practices of protecting civilians during communal violence in India, arguing that progress on the First Pillar of r2p necessitates a conceptual shift at both the international level and at the domestic level. The politics surrounding communal violence in India provides an important case study to question the salience of r2p norms for domestic practices of state responsibility and prevention that are currently being promoted in the unsg agenda on r2p, and considers the implications this report has for states committed to a narrow interpretation of r2p.
Alex Bellamy‘Conflict Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect’Global Governance14/2: 135–157 (2008); Bellamy ‘Mass Atrocities and Armed Conflicts: Links Distinctions and Implications for the Responsibility to Prevent’ The Stanley Foundation Policy Analysis Brief Muscatine February 2011.
Pierre BourdieuOutline of a Theory of Practice (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press1977); Emanuel Adler and Vincent Pouliot ‘International practices: introduction and framework’ in Emanuel Adler and Vincent Pouliot (eds.) International Practices (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2011); Didier Bigo ‘Security’ in Rebecca Adler-Nissen (ed.) Bourdieu in International Relations: Rethinking key concepts in ir (London and New York: Routledge 2013) pp. 114–130.
Ward BerenschotRiot Politics: Hindu-Muslim Violence and the Indian State (New York: Columbia University Press2011); Paul Brass The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India (New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2003); Steven I. Wilkinson Votes and Violence: Electoral Competition and Ethnic Riots in India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2004).
Paul BrassForms of Collective Violence: Riots Pogroms and Genocide in Modern India (New Delhi: Three Essays Collective2006); Martha Nussbaum The Clash Within: Democracy Religious Violence and India's Future (Cambridge Massachusetts and London: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press 2007); Martha Nussbaum ‘Rape and Murder in Gujarat’ in Amrita Basu and Srirupa Roy (eds.) Violence and Democracy in India (Calcutta: Seagull Books 2007): 101–122.
Ibid.; Kadira Pethiyagoda‘India’s Approach to Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect’, Working Paper, Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict Unit, Oxford University, 2013; Kudrat Virk, ‘India and the Responsibility to Protect: A Tale of Ambiguity’Global Responsibility to Protect5:56–83 (2013).
Ritu Menon and Kamla BhasinBorders and Boundaries: Women in India’s Partition (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press1998) pp.67–129; Gayendra Pandey Remembering Partition: Violence Nationalism and History in India (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 2001) pp. 21–44.
Mohammad Ali‘Gang-rape stokes tensions in Muzzafarnargar’The Hindu5 November 2013; Nussbaum The Clash Within; Nussbaum ‘Rape and Murder in Gujarat’; Raj K. Raj ‘up riots: rape victims tell their tales’ Hindustan Times 5 January 2014; personal interview with human rights activist seeking justice for victims of the 2008 Kandhamal violence in Orissa India 2012.