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Title: The responsibility to implement 'The Responsibility to Protect'
Author: Hooper, R. S.
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2010
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The Responsibility to Protect offers a morally based policy that places a new responsibility on the international community to protect populations from extremes of harm caused by governments. From the policy’s text, the reason for action seems to lie, most fundamentally, in an expression of ‘our common humanity’. However, The Responsibility to Protect does not offer any justification for its proposals. It responds to the question ‘what ought to be done?’ but answers the question ‘what can be done?’ leaving in between a gap in the moral credibility of action. The thesis explores what this lack of philosophical underpinning means to the persuasive power of the policy. The thesis then examines the claim of sovereignty as responsibility and finds it confused and incomplete and lacking the detail necessary for coherent implementation. It uses the Aristotelian square of opposition to investigate the tripartite nature of the new responsibilities to prevent and rebuild. Finally, the thesis investigates the policy’s apparent assumption that an ethically based policy of humanitarian intervention can be appropriately guided by the ethical rules of war. It asks if war and humanitarian intervention are the same thing and finds that they are not. It then explores the incoherence created by using the Just War Tradition for guide R2P. If The Responsibility to Protect offers no greater generation of will and effective action to humanitarian intervention than the current ad hoc process does, its establishment as UN policy becomes a pyrrhic victory. It will result in further anomalies in response by the UN, and consequent damage to the reputation and credibility of the UN as the guardian of international peace and security.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available