This chapter examines the ethics and politics of using military force to protect populations from mass atrocities. I trace the emergence of the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), observing its deep historical roots as well as its rapid development in recent years. I then explore ongoing ethical and political debates concerning R2P and the use of force. I observe that, while virtually all states agree that the suffering of vulnerable populations should be a matter of international concern, some states continue to be reluctant to endorse a right of military intervention for their protection. They do so for both principled and pragmatic reasons. Meanwhile some other states, while accepting that there is such a right, resist suggestions there may be a duty to act to protect the vulnerable when such action does not coincide with their vital interests.
|Title of host publication||The Ashgate Research Companion to Military Ethics|
|Editors||James Turner Johnson and Eric D. Patterson|
|Place of Publication||Farnham, Surrey and Burlington, VT|
|Publisher||Ashgate Publishing Ltd|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|