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Implementation and World PoliticsHow International Norms Change Practice$
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Alexander Betts and Phil Orchard

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198712787

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198712787.001.0001

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Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect”

Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect”

Catalyzing Debate and Building Capacity

(p.124) 7 Implementing the “Responsibility to Protect”
Implementation and World Politics

Jennifer M. Welsh

Oxford University Press

This chapter critically analyzes the implementation of the norm of R2P, drawing on the framework set out by Betts and Orchard for the study of “principled norms.” It begins by noting the continued substantive contestation about when the international community’s remedial R2P can and should be activated, and procedural contestation about the forum in which the norm should be developed. The chapter suggests that R2P should be considered a “complex” norm and challenges the view that the successful implementation can or should be measured in terms of whether military intervention occurs. Instead, R2P is primarily a responsibility to consider a real or imminent crisis involving atrocity crimes; whether international action actually occurs depends on other factors. The chapter then shows that while the mechanism for R2P implementation is primarily material, the impetus has come from a combination of non-governmental advocacy, “experts” and leadership from particular national governments and UN officials.

Keywords:   Responsibility to Protect, complex norm, early warning, implementation, United Nations

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