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Regional Organizations and Responsibility to Protect: Normative Reframing or Normative Change?

By Carla Barqueiro, Kate Seaman and Katherine Teresa Towey


The adoption of the principle of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) by all United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) member states in 2005, and its reaffirmation in dozens of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions, indicate that there is a growing consensus around the world that egregious human rights violations necessitate a cooperative and decisive international response. But just as the political debates raged surrounding the precise articulation of RtoP between 2001 and 2005, so too goes the contemporary debate surrounding the implementation of RtoP. Regional divergences in RtoP implementation, in particular, have been noted by many scholars, as regional organizations implement those elements of RtoP that best suit their policy goals. This paper will apply recent scholarship on normlifecycles, specifically on “norm localization” to the operationalization of RtoP by regional organizations. We seek to explore regional divergences on RtoP implementation between the European Union (EU), League of Arab States (LAS), and the African Union (AU) on Libya and Syria. From this assessment, three main arguments will be put forward: (1) regional organizations remain politicized, reframing RtoP in divergent ways that dilute the strength of the norm, (2) politicization of the RtoP discourse constrains regional norm localization processes, (3) politicization and reframing of RtoP inhibit regional normative change and limit the potential for timely and decisive responses to protect civilians. (auhtor's abstract

Topics: Politikwissenschaft, Internationale Beziehungen, Political science, International relations, Responsibility to Protect; R2P; Regionalorganisation, Friedens- und Konfliktforschung, Sicherheitspolitik, internationale Beziehungen, Entwicklungspolitik, Peace and Conflict Research, International Conflicts, Security Policy, International Relations, International Politics, Foreign Affairs, Development Policy, internationale Beziehungen, internationale Politik, militärische Intervention, humanitäre Intervention, politische Intervention, militärischer Konflikt, Schutzmacht, internationale Organisation, politisches Bündnis, soziale Norm, Normgeltung, Normsetzung, EU, Arabische Liga, Afrikanische Union, Menschenrechte, Konfliktbewältigung, international relations, international politics, military intervention, humanitarian intervention, political intervention, military conflict, protecting power, international organization, political alliance, social norm, adherence to norms, setting of norms, EU, Arab League, African Union, human rights, conflict mediation
Publisher: MISC
Year: 2016
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