THE EMERGENCE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT WITHIN THE UNITED NATIONS

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy

Abstract

Following the conception of the Responsibility to Protect by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty in 2001 significant commentary has been written about R2P with a number of writers classifying it as a new international norm.

This thesis will challenge this conclusion asserting that R2P was not a fundamentally new concept but was instead a continuation of an existing interventionist humanitarian dialogue which had taken place within the United Nations, and before it the League of Nations.

This thesis will also challenge the position that R2P is a new international norm since, adopting the Finnemore and Sikkink tri-parte test of the normative-cycle (that of norm emergence, norm cascade and internalisation), since R2P has failed to internalise itself within international practice and has therefore failed to pass through the full normative cycle. This thesis will, however, assess the significant contribution that the UN has made to R2P’s development, although this thesis will also note the various obstacles that the UN has created for R2P’s development.

This thesis will conclude that there are a number of questions that still impact upon R2P’s normative development, however, if we consider R2P as part of an evolutionary interventionist humanitarian dialogue within the UN, this thesis asserts that the continued engagement with this dialogue by the UN and its Members offers some possibility that these issues will be addressed, thus helping R2P’s normative development and the progression of the UN’s own interventionist humanitarian dialogue.
Date of Award1 Sept 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorBrian Salter (Supervisor) & Petra Dolata-Kreutzkamp (Supervisor)

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