chapter  16
15 Pages

The responsibility to protect

ByAlex J. Bellamy

In this chapter, students will learn about the ‘responsibility to protect’ principle, which seeks to recast the relationship between security, sovereignty and human rights. It looks at the origins of the principle, the politics behind its adoption by the UN in 2005, subsequent debates at the UN about its implementation, and its role in shaping international responses to major humanitarian crises. Key questions include whether sovereignty should entail the protection of a state’s population, whether states can be persuaded to take responsibility for protecting populations abroad and what sorts of policies states should adopt in the face of mass atrocities.