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Evaluating the Responsibility to Protect : Mass Atrocity Prevention As a Consolidating Norm in
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This book evaluates the extent to which the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has consolidated as a norm in international society.
A consolidated norm in international society is defined here as a regularised pattern of behaviour that is widely accepted as appropriate within a given social context. The analysis is premised on the assumption that R2P could be regarded as a consolidated norm if it was applied consistently when genocide and other mass atrocities occur; and if international responses would routinely conform to core principles inherent in R2P: seeking government consent; multilateralism; prevention; and regionalism. Finnemore and Sikkink’s norm lifecycle model is employed to determine the putative norm’s degree of consolidation. In-depth case studies of the international responses to crises in Darfur and Kenya serve to illuminate the findings. The book advances the argument that R2P had fully emerged as a prospective norm by 2005. However, R2P has not, as yet, fully consolidated as an international norm. R2P has been remarkably successful at pervading the international discourse but has, as yet, been somewhat less successful at consistency in implementation in terms of adherence to its core principles as outlined above (the qualitative dimension of R2P); and it has been least successful, to date, in terms of consistency across cases in terms of resolve and tenacity. The consistency-gap may, however, gradually close – which is possible, if not likely, assuming R2P continues on its current trajectory.
This book will be of much interest to students of the responsibility to protect, humanitarian intervention, international law, security studies and IR.