Responsibility to Protect: Syria The Law, Politics, and Future of Humanitarian Intervention Post-Libya

in Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies
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Based on the Security Council’s disparate responses to relatively similar acts of regime violence in Syria and Libya, it seems that the Responsibility to Protect doctrine is heavily influenced by factors other than the substantive act of violence. Accordingly, this paper discusses the legal, but also the strategic and pragmatic factors influencing the use, or abstention from the use, of armed humanitarian intervention. While some critics decry the influence of factors that are seemingly exogenous to Responsibility to Protect, this paper argues that the interplay of law and various matters of strategic concern such as politics, economics, and pragmatics is an unavoidable reality in a world where political actors (the states on the Security Council) decide the legitimacy of interventions. Therefore, this paper contends that the strategic and pragmatic concerns that prevent the use of force in Syria do not make the doctrine ipso facto illegitimate.

Responsibility to Protect: Syria The Law, Politics, and Future of Humanitarian Intervention Post-Libya

in Journal of International Humanitarian Legal Studies

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References

2

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