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The antipolitical theory of responsibility to protect

Brown, Chris (2013) The antipolitical theory of responsibility to protect. Global Responsibility to Protect, 5 (4). pp. 423-442. ISSN 1875-9858

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Identification Number: 10.1163/1875984X-00504004


The doctrine of Responsibility to Protect, as initially set out in the Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty of 2001, is difficult to place within the usual framework of IR theories (liberal internationalist, realist or radical) or International Political Theories (communitarian, cosmopolitan). This is primarily because by framing the issue of intervention in terms of the protection of civilians, the devisers of the doctrine attempted to de-politicise the act of intervention. An examination of the ICISS Report, the UN's World Summit Outcome Document of 2005 and the experience of the application of the doctrine to the Libyan crisis of 2011 demonstrates that this attempt has not succeeded, and that the 'antipolitical' nature of Responsibility to Protect is a weakness not a strength. Still, the doctrine has had considerable success in changing the terms under which intervention is discussed at the UN and elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden.
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2014 10:31
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:05

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