On the limits of moral hazard: the 'responsibility to protect', armed conflict and mass atrocities

Bellamy, Alex J. and Williams, Paul D. (2012) On the limits of moral hazard: the 'responsibility to protect', armed conflict and mass atrocities. European Journal of International Relations, 18 3: 539-571. doi:10.1177/1354066110393366

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Author Bellamy, Alex J.
Williams, Paul D.
Title On the limits of moral hazard: the 'responsibility to protect', armed conflict and mass atrocities
Journal name European Journal of International Relations   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1354-0661
Publication date 2012-09
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1354066110393366
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 18
Issue 3
Start page 539
End page 571
Total pages 33
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Advocates of moral hazard theory argue that the ‘responsibility to protect’ causes genocidal violence that would not otherwise occur. After summarizing the main elements of the moral hazard approach, this article demonstrates that there is no empirical evidence to support the general claim that the ‘responsibility to protect’ is a remote cause of genocide. This is followed by an analysis of the conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur which demonstrates that moral hazard does not provide a plausible account of the proximate causes of genocidal violence in these cases. We suggest that a major part of the explanation for why moral hazard theory performs so badly is its reductionist account of the dynamics of armed conflict and its simplistic understanding of the dynamics of provocation.
Keyword Bosnia
Mass atrocities
Moral hazard
Responsibility to protect
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 8 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 8 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 09 Oct 2014, 16:20:57 EST by Bronwyn Clare Crook on behalf of School of Political Science & Internat'l Studies