It is increasingly well understood that concepts of ‘humanitarian intervention’ and the ‘responsibility to protect’ enjoy a long and rich history. Nevertheless, it is surprising how plainly the arguments offered by states seeking to justify intervention in Libya in 2011 echo those used by theologians, jurists, and philosophers to justify intervention in the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries. Those advocating intervention in Libya drew not just on the language of ‘human rights,’ that emerged relatively recently, but on a wider and much older range of idioms and ideas to make their case. In this article, I identify three key arguments that were employed by states in support of the intervention and I demonstrate their parallels with three principal arguments that have been advanced to justify intervention in response to tyranny since the sixteenth century. The three arguments are: the need to protect ‘innocents’; the need to hold ‘tyrants’ to account; and the need to defend the will of a sovereign people. After exploring each argument, I conclude by noting that the claim often heard today, that intervention is under certain circumstances a responsibility rather than merely a right, also has deep roots in early modern thought.
The concept of the responsibility to protect (R2P) holds that not only do sovereign states have a responsibility to protect their populations, but so too does the international community. The international community is said to be responsible for encouraging and assisting states to protect and also for taking collective action to enforce the protection of populations in instances where states fail to carry out their obligations. This idea that the international community itself bears not merely a right but a responsibility to protect, through military intervention if necessary, is perhaps the most novel aspect of the R2P concept, and it would seem to have extraordinary implications. Yet it remains largely under-examined. In this article, I consider how the notion that the international community bears a responsibility to protect might be fruitfully understood and conceptualised. After briefly outlining from where this idea has emerged, I consider two interrelated questions: What kind of responsibility is it – moral, legal, or political, or some combination of the three? And who in particular bears the responsibility – the international community broadly speaking, particular international institutions such as the Security Council, regional organisations, or individual states?
This introduction to the special issue on Children and r2p lays out the parallel development of the r2p and Children and Armed Conflict agendas over the last two decades and surveys how key r2p documents developed during this period have engaged with issues of child protection. It then outlines the articles that follow.
Deepening the Responsibility to Protect
Edited by Sara E. Davies and Luke Glanville
Sara E. Davies and Luke Glanville
Luke Glanville and Sara E. Davies
Edited by Luke Glanville and Bina D'Costa
This collection of essays was first published in the journal Global Responsibility to Protect (vol.10/1-2, 2018) as a special issue.
Contributors are: J. Marshall Beier, Letícia Carvalho, Bina D’Costa, Myriam Denov, Luke Glanville, Michelle Godwin, Erin Goheen Glanville, Cecilia Jacob, Dustin Johnson, Atim Angela Lakor, Katrina Lee-Koo, Ryoko Nakano, Jochen Prantl, Jeremy Shusterman, Hannah Sparwasser Soroka, Timea Spitka, Jana Tabak, Shelly Whitman.
Alex J. Bellamy, Sara E. Davies and Luke Glanville
Edited by Alex J. Bellamy, Sara E. Davies and Luke Glanville
The Responsibility to Protect and International Law focuses on questions relating to R2P’s legal quality, its relationship with sovereignty, and the question of whether the norm establishes legal obligations. It also aims to introduce readers to different legal perspectives, including feminism, and pressing practical questions such as how the law might be used to prevent genocide and mass atrocities, and punish the perpetrators.