The Responsibility to Protect: Retrospect and Prospect

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    The birth and continuing evolution of the responsibility to protect (R2P) – the mobiliser of last resort of the world’s conscience to avert, prevent and stop mass killings – is a clear illustration of how the United Nations has provided an essential space in which powerful normative and policy agendas have been articulated. Until the twentieth century, state sovereignty included the right to go to war and an unchallengeable monopoly on the lawful use of force domestically. Gradually by the time of the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and more rapidly thereafter, the right to use force internationally was progressively restricted to self-defence against armed attack or under UN authorisation. historically, individual states had also intervened inside sovereign jurisdictions to stop the slaughter of kith and kin or co-religionists. Under the impact of the holocaust and starting with the Genocide Convention in 1948, the international community asserted the collective right to stop supposedly sovereign states killing large numbers of civilians inside their borders.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationResponsibility to protect and sovereignty
    Editors Charles Sampford, Ramesh Thakur
    Place of PublicationSurrey, England
    PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd
    ISBN (Print)9781409437826
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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