The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention
The book provides a systematic overview of the theory and practice of R2P, and examines how the doctrine has been interpreted and implemented since it was first conceived. Aidan Hehir argues that, while it has undeniably raised international consciousness regarding humanitarian intervention, R2P has not significantly improved the international response to large-scale intra-state crises.
Hehir advances an alternative strategy involving a strengthening of international law – based around obligations rather than discretionary rights – and major structural reform to the United Nations. Broad-ranging and insightful, this innovative text provides a clear grasp of the key issues and debates surrounding humanitarian intervention and advances a major new critique of R2P.
'Aidan Hehir's thoughtful and crisply-written book is essential reading for those who believe that our ability to cope with the future must begin with frank self-criticism and continue with relentless assessment of past events, mistakes, and illusions. While I disagree with some of his conclusions, his argument cannot be ignored by honest members of the R2P choir or by R2P agnostics and atheists.' - Thomas G. Weiss, City University of New York, USA'Aidan Hehir's critique of the 'responsibility to protect' warns against relying on moral suasion alone to change behaviour. While not all will agree with his proposed solutions, his efforts to take the word 'responsibility' seriously should be considered by all those who believe that coercive action is sometimes necessary.' - Jennifer M. Welsh, University of Oxford, UK
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