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Book Chapter

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The responsibility to protect (R2P) is both a license for and a leash against forcible intervention. It succeeded in widening the scope of legitimate armed intervention by licensing some (protective) interventions but only because it was seen as a leash against other (exploitative) interventions. This chapter traces the origins of the R2P doctrine in the Kosovo and ICISS reports, highlights the special features of the 2005 Outcome Document, notes how the doctrine was strengthened in practice by careful attention to non-coercive measures in Myanmar, Kenya, and Guinea, and then examines the landmark case of its use to sanction and then intervene against Gadhafi’s regime in Libya in 2011. The chapter concludes by drawing lessons for the revision and revival of this important contribution to human security.


International Relations | Law | Law and Politics