In a post-R2P world, policymakers are not only confronted by the real life challenge of mass atrocity crimes but are also faced with a variety of voices offering alternative ways for framing the problems involved. The dominance of realism in 20th century political discourse puts forward the view that states do not have a moral obligation to protect the citizens of other states. As a result, the R2P remains just another policy option, one that should only be opted for when national interests are at stake. From this perspective, the national responsibility that states have to their citizens clashes with the international responsibility to protect populations the world over from genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. Accordingly, this clash of responsibilities exposes a series of complexities regarding morality, power, survival, security, sovereignty, and order to name just a few. With this in mind, this paper engages with realist critiques in order to create a constructive conversation to help show areas of agreement and disagreement which will provide us with a more informed understanding of the challenges that face R2P implementation.
This article draws on non-Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) research into expectations to argue that in the aftermath of the intervention in Libya and non-intervention in Syria scholars have to manage RtoP expectations. In so doing, it introduces four types of expectations into the RtoP discourse: ‘expectation gaps’, ‘expectation vacuums’, ‘expectation clouding’, and ‘inherited expectations’ – the latter of which is this author’s own contribution to the discourse. To illustrate the utility of the expectations approach, the article focuses on the debate over inconsistency in order to highlight the role of expectation gaps and inherited expectations. Going forward, it calls for further research into RtoP expectation management to be conducted and identifies key debates which need to be addressed. Ultimately, it advances an understanding of the RtoP that is inherently more sensitive to its limitations and possibilities.
This article introduces the special issue and identifies three key contributions. First, RtoP advocates are right to mark the progress that has been made, but that should not – and generally does not – lead norm diffusers to rest on their laurels or to fall into a complacency that sees moral progress as inevitable. Second, the burden of concrete protection practices – whether they be reflected in contributions to peacekeeping missions or the granting of asylum – is being unfairly distributed across international society. This hierarchy is potentially destabilising and it demands that the great powers – or those laying claim to that identity – recognise their ‘special responsibility to protect’. Third, the great powers do have an important responsibility to reconcile the demands of human protection and international peace and security. It is difficult to reconcile these if we look narrowly at the former in terms of intervention, especially military intervention. Reiterating RtoP to remind states that other prudent options are available – such as receiving refugees – is an important step, especially in the current context.
This short article introduces the forum on the Uighur population in China and R2P. It provides context to demonstrate why it is important to analyse the current situation in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of China through an R2P lens and states the objectives of the forum. It then provides a brief summary of the contributions in the forum that take into account the domestic context, legal arguments and analysis of the international political context in which R2P is operationalised.
This short article introduces the GR2P Forum reflecting on the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine 15 years after it was institutionalised at the international level through the World Summit Outcome Document. It contextualises the relevance of critical reflections on the R2P at its 15th anniversary and then lays out the aims and objectives of the Forum. It provides an overview of the different contributions, describing the perspectives of the authors and the key arguments they present.
Global Responsibility to Protect (GR2P) seeks to publish the best and latest research on atrocity prevention and human protection, human rights, global governance, diplomacy, the ethics and law of armed conflict, and humanitarianism. GR2P serves as a repository for lessons learned and analysis of best practices on the prevention of armed conflict, genocide and mass atrocities, and human protection. As the premier journal for the study and practice of the responsibility to protect (R2P), the journal promotes a universal understanding of the principle and efforts to realise it while encouraging critical debate and diversity of opinion. This includes research on the development of cognate norms in global politics, their operationalisation/implementation through the work of governments, international and regional organisations and NGOs.
We accept articles that demonstrate theoretical innovation, are built on strong methodological approaches and compelling empirical evidence. Toward this end, GR2P invites contributions from all over the world to help foster a global conversation around international responsibility and human protection.
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