Perilous Interventions and the Responsibility to Protect

in Global Responsibility to Protect
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This article analyses Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos by Hardeep Singh Puri, a retired senior diplomat and India’s former Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York. It outlines the structure and argument of the book, which addresses foreign interventions in various conflicts over the past three decades, including those in Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, and Sri Lanka, and the emergence of the concept of Responsibility to Protect. It argues that Perilous Interventions is a significant, if problematic, book insofar as it signals that deep scepticism about r2p persists in important sections of the policymaking elite in New Delhi, despite India’s rising power, growing capabilities, and changing relationships with major powers, including the United States. It also introduces the remaining three articles in this special section.



Hardeep Singh Puri, Perilous Interventions: The Security Council and the Politics of Chaos (New Delhi: HarperCollins, 2016), p. 7.


Ian Hall, ‘Narendra Modi and India’s Normative Power’, International Affairs 93(1) (2017), 113–131.


Sumit Ganguly, ‘India and the Responsibility to Protect’, International Relations 30/3 (2016), p. 368.


Gary J. Bass, ‘The Indian Way of Humanitarian Intervention’, The Yale Journal of International Law, 40 (2015), pp. 227–294.


Kudrat Virk, ‘India and the Responsibility to Protect: A Tale of Ambiguity’, Global Responsibility to Protect 5(1) (2013), pp. 56–83.


Manoj Joshi, ‘Dodgy Stand on Libya Crisis’, India Today, 24 March 2011, http://


Ganguly, ‘India and the Responsibility to Protect’, p. 367.


Sandra Destradi, ‘Reluctance in international politics: A conceptualization’ European Journal of International Relations (2016) doi: 1354066116653665. See also Sandra Destradi, ‘India: A Reluctant Partner for Afghanistan’, The Washington Quarterly 37/2 (2014), pp. 103–117.


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