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Bodies of ViolenceTheorizing Embodied Subjects in International Relations$
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Lauren B. Wilcox

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199384488

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199384488.001.0001

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Vulnerable Bodies and the “Responsibility to Protect”

Vulnerable Bodies and the “Responsibility to Protect”

(p.166) 6 Vulnerable Bodies and the “Responsibility to Protect”
Bodies of Violence

Lauren B. Wilcox

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 shows how this work’s theorization of bodies can be applied to critique an emerging framework for understanding and addressing contemporary mass violence: the doctrine of “responsibility to protect” (RtoP). If bodies are theorized as both produced by and productive of politics and not contained in themselves or in their relations to others, one can now think about embodied subjects in connection to RtoP in such a way that challenges the terms of “responsibility” by considering not only harm done to existing bodies, but the production of certain bodies as those that can be harmed and certain bodies as invulnerable. Specifically, this chapter attempts to think through the paradigm of RtoP from Judith Butler’s theorization of bodies as constitutively vulnerable, showing that consideration of the ethical implications of RtoP from an ontology of vulnerability has broader implications for the way in which one thinks about ethics and responsibility.

Keywords:   violence, vulnerability, responsibility to protect, ethics, Judith Butler

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