The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) concept has emerged in recent years to take a central place in international deliberations about how to best ensure the protection of populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. While the concept was unanimously endorsed by states at the UN World Summit in 2005, it has not always been consistently implemented and populations continue to suffer from atrocity crimes in various parts of the world. This course seeks a deep understanding of the R2P concept, critically examining questions about the history, ethics, law, and politics of R2P and studying key cases of the threat or perpetration of mass atrocities from the last decade. It reaches beyond well-known debates about military intervention to grapple with the complexities of non-coercive as well as coercive means of protecting populations.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
- To develop a critical understanding of the historical antecedents of R2P and its rapid development in recent years.
- To critically evaluate the contemporary ethics, law, and politics of R2P.
- To understand the future directions of R2P in a changing world.
- To develop skills in writing and speaking to different audiences on the politics, law, and ethics of efforts to prevent mass atrocities.
- Case Study, 40%. 2000 words
- Policy Brief, 20%. 1000 words
- Research Essay, 40%. 2000 words
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WorkloadThere will be a 2 hour seminar and 6 hours of independent study each week for 12 weeks.
Preliminary ReadingAlex J. Bellamy, The Responsibility to Protect: A Defense (Oxford 2014)
Luke Glanville, Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History (Chicago 2014)
Assumed KnowledgeUnderstanding of basic concepts of International Relations.
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