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Protection of Civilians$
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Haidi Willmot, Ralph Mamiya, Scott Sheeran, and Marc Weller

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198729266

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198729266.001.0001

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The Problems and Dilemmas of Helping to Build Protection Capacities

The Problems and Dilemmas of Helping to Build Protection Capacities

(p.391) 18 The Problems and Dilemmas of Helping to Build Protection Capacities
Protection of Civilians

Lise Grande

Oxford University Press

This chapter considers the problems and dilemmas of building national capacity to protect civilians. Although most international effort to protect civilians focuses on military intervention, humanitarian relief, or promotion of human rights, State responsibility for the security and safety of the people within their borders is the end-goal of the ‘protection chain’. The chapter examines the strategies that international actors use to help build States’ capacities to protect their own people, questioning whether the approaches being used are effective, and, if not, what are the preferred alternatives. There are two primary competing approaches: rigorously pursuing the security and safety of civilians; or working to establish institutions of governance and justice as State-building priorities. The chapter recommends that priority be given to building the capacity of a State to ensure the safety of its population, arguing that a ‘security-first’ approach is the most pragmatic means of achieving the protection chain’s end-goal.

Keywords:   protection of civilians, State responsibility, international actors, capacity building, safety of populations, international development

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