The responsibility to protect and the problem of military intervention

Bellamy, Alex J. (2008) The responsibility to protect and the problem of military intervention. International Affairs, 84 4: 615-639. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2346.2008.00729.x

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Author Bellamy, Alex J.
Title The responsibility to protect and the problem of military intervention
Journal name International Affairs   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1473-8104
Publication date 2008-07-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-2346.2008.00729.x
Volume 84
Issue 4
Start page 615
End page 639
Total pages 25
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Subject 16 Studies in Human Society
1606 Political Science
Abstract The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. From inauspicious beginnings, the principle was endorsed by the General Assembly in 2005 and unanimously reaffirmed by the Security Council in 2006 (Resolution 1674). However, the principle remains hotly contested primarily because of its association with humanitarian intervention and the pervasive belief that its principal aim is to create a pathway for the legitimization of unilateral military intervention. This article sets forth the argument that a deepening consensus on R2P is dependent on its dissociation from the politics of humanitarian intervention and suggests that one way of doing this is by abandoning the search for criteria for decision-making about the use of force, one of the centre pieces of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty 2001 report that coined the phrase R2P. Criteria were never likely to win international support, the article maintains, and were less likely to improve decision-making on how best to respond to major humanitarian crises. Nevertheless, R2P can make an important contribution to thinking about the problem of military intervention by mitigating potential 'moral hazards', overcoming the tendency of international actors to focus exclusively on military methods and giving impetus to efforts to operationalize protection in the field
Keyword R2P
Decision Making
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 43 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 81 times in Scopus Article | Citations
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Created: Mon, 25 Jan 2010, 21:14:58 EST by Ms May Balasaize on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences