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Applying the Responsibility to Protect to the Arab Spring

Wilson, G (2014) Applying the Responsibility to Protect to the Arab Spring. Liverpool Law Review, 35 (2). pp. 157-173. ISSN 0144-932X


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The doctrine of the responsibility to protect, since its inception in the ICISS report of 2001, has been the subject of considerable discussion. Arguably its most publicised component is the principle that the international community has the responsibility to protect civilian populations against severe suffering where the relevant national authorities are unable or unwilling to do so. Consequently, the main focus of discourse upon the responsibility to protect has centred on its impact upon the approach of the international community to intervention in respect of situations posing considerable humanitarian crises. The events of the Arab Spring, in which full blown conflict in some states gave rise to serious human suffering, provided a real opportunity for the international community to evaluate the role of the responsibility to protect in decision-making over responding to such instances, and potentially to develop it into a practical and meaningfully implementable concept. However, due to political flaws inherent in the doctrine, and its arguably overstated significance, the doctrine at best played a minimal role in guiding the international response to developments in the Arab World. Nonetheless, responses to the Arab Spring do allow certain conclusions to be drawn in respect of the future relevance of the doctrine.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The final publication is available at Springer via http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10991-014-9151-6
Subjects: J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JX International law
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Law
Publisher: Springer
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2015 09:52
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 14:40
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/463
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