The responsibility to protect and the rise of China: lessons from Australia's role as a 'pragmatic' norm entrepreneur

Ralph, Jason (2017) The responsibility to protect and the rise of China: lessons from Australia's role as a 'pragmatic' norm entrepreneur. International Relations of the Asia-Pacific, 17 1: 35-65. doi:10.1093/irap/lcw002


Author Ralph, Jason
Title The responsibility to protect and the rise of China: lessons from Australia's role as a 'pragmatic' norm entrepreneur
Journal name International Relations of the Asia-Pacific   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1470-4838
1470-482X
Publication date 2017-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1093/irap/lcw002
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 17
Issue 1
Start page 35
End page 65
Total pages 31
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Oxford University Press
Collection year 2018
Language eng
Abstract The purpose of this article is to explore the development of a norm that emerged during a period of unqualified American hegemony - the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) - and to ask what the rise of China means for R2P norm entrepreneurs like Australia. It argues that by underpinning great power identity claims, which are instantiated by the assertion of normative positions occasionally at odds with liberal states, the rise of China has helped to highlight the contested nature of the R2P norm, in particular the license it notionally gives to the pursuit of externally imposed regime change. Drawing on an innovative combination of critical constructivism and philosophical pragmatism the paper argues that liberal states can better promote R2P in this increasingly pluralist international order by adopting a pragmatic approach to norm diffusion. This balances the demands of a dialog that is sensitive to Chinese concerns with the defense of the substantive core of the norm, human protection. It is further argued that Australia's geopolitical position to Chinese power and an embedded identity narrative of Australia as a 'middle power' demonstrates a potential to act as a pragmatic norm entrepreneur. Indeed, Australia's recent activity on the UN Security Council can be characterized in these terms.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Political Science and International Studies Publications
 
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