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Challenges for Humanitarian InterventionEthical Demand and Political Reality$
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C. A. J. Coady, Ned Dobos, and Sagar Sanyal

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198812852

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198812852.001.0001

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On the Uses and ‘Abuses’ of Responsibility to Protect

On the Uses and ‘Abuses’ of Responsibility to Protect

(p.123) 6 On the Uses and ‘Abuses’ of Responsibility to Protect
Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention

Ned Dobos

Oxford University Press

Critics of the R2P doctrine routinely warn of its abuse potential, but often leave underdescribed what this abuse consists of, and how it differs from the proper, legitimate use of R2P. This chapter seeks to remedy this descriptive neglect. The author distinguishes three kinds of foreign intervention that might, for different reasons, be considered abuses or misappropriations of the R2P norm. The first is where the language of R2P is used to publicly justify an intervention that in fact has little to do with protecting vulnerable populations. These are cases in which humanitarian rhetoric is used as window-dressing for economic or political self-aggrandizement. The second kind of R2P abuse involves its unilateral implementation. Third, the R2P norm is arguably abused when it is over-extended, as where it is invoked to justify the forcible democratization of undemocratic states, rather than being limited to the prevention of grave human rights violations.

Keywords:   Ulterior motives, unilateralism, UN authorization, forcible democratization, abuse

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