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‘Living by Example?’ The European Union and the Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Chiara De Franco, Christoph O. Meyer, Karen E Smith

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)994–1009
Number of pages16
Issue number5
Published1 Sep 2015


  • EU and R2P norm rev fin with cover sheet fin

    EU_and_R2P_norm_rev_fin_with_cover_sheet_fin.pdf, 143 KB, application/pdf

    Uploaded date:07 Jan 2015

    Version:Accepted author manuscript

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: [De Franco, C., Meyer, C. O., & Smith, K. E. (2015). ‘Living by Example?’ The European Union and the
    Implementation of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). JOURNAL OF COMMON MARKET STUDIES], which has been published in final form at [10.1111/jcms.12240]. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving."

King's Authors


Most empirical contributions to the normative power Europe (NPE) debate concentrate on whether and when the EU promotes its core internal norms abroad. In contrast, we investigate how norms emerging from international fora come to be accepted and internalised by the EU in the first place. We examine the case of the emerging responsibility to protect norm (R2P) and argue that the EU’s implementation has been more limited and slower than one would expect from the NPE procedural ethics of ‘living by example’. We examine the potential reasons for this failure to ‘live by example’: the role of persuasion by norm entrepreneurs; the role of inducements and costs; the goodness of fit between R2P and existing EU norms; and the clarity of the norm. We find that the lack of goodness of fit and clarity of the norm are important factors, but argue that low levels of bureaucratic receptivity were the greatest obstacle.

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