Free Book Online
Book The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention


The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention

2.2 (1920)

Log in to rate this item

    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Dr Aidan Hehir(Author)

    Book details

From Kosovo to Libya, humanitarian intervention is seldom out of the news. While the 'Responsibility to Protect' (R2P) has often been at the centre of these debates, its effectiveness as a means of preventing and resolving mass atrocities is disputed.

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

4.4 (11352)
  • Pdf

*An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Formats for this Ebook

Required Software Any PDF Reader, Apple Preview
Supported Devices Windows PC/PocketPC, Mac OS, Linux OS, Apple iPhone/iPod Touch.
# of Devices Unlimited
Flowing Text / Pages Pages
Printable? Yes

Book details

  • PDF | 312 pages
  • Dr Aidan Hehir(Author)
  • Palgrave Macmillan; 2012 edition (11 April 2012)
  • English
  • 5
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

Read online or download a free book: The Responsibility to Protect: Rhetoric, Reality and the Future of Humanitarian Intervention


Review Text

  • By Luke on 11 November 2014

    This book provides a fantastic overview and critique of the humanitarian intervention debate under its current guise of 'the Responsibility to Protect' (R2P).Dr Hehir has carved out an interesting position in the R2P discourse, where this book is the most lucid and extensive articulation of this position. Indeed, the latter has also been laid out in several journal articles which aren't always so accessible to audiences outside of academia's ivory towers (a journal article often costs as much as a book!). I would personally recommend reading this alongside his 'Humanitarian Intervention: An Introduction'. The latter, again, in my humble opinion, is the most accessible and ambitious attempt at concisely framing the key concepts, debates and controversies surrounding humanitarian intervention. I recall that in the second edition of 'Humanitarian Intervention' there is an interesting chapter on Libya and the Arab Spring's relation to R2P.The basic argument of this book - and in my view its main strength when compared to other works in the R2P canon - is that contrary to those which assert that R2P has fundamentally refashioned the humanitarian intervention debate (be it for the better or worse), the idea (or is it a norm?!) has changed very little in how the international community responds to egregious violations of basic human rights. This position is substantiated by a rich historical examination of why R2P was devised, with a convincing riposte to those that extol its historical novelty. In so doing Dr Hehir examines R2P's legal status (or lack thereof), how latter nebulous moves towards 'prevention' are flawed, and the real reason for the depressing litany of 'inhumanitarian noninterventions' - i.e. political will. I particularly enjoyed the chapter devoted to R2P's origins in the 1990s, where it clearly shows how the decade's lessons were largely ignored in the 2001 report which introduced it. The chapter which critiques the argument best associated with people such as Noam Chomsky - that humanitarian intervention is always bad and is concurrently indicative of the apotheosis ofcrusading Western liberalism - was also a joy to read. Dr Hehir convincingly demonstrates that it is not humanitarian intervention per se that is the issue; but unilateral and illegal interventions which undermine the idea.There is also an interesting theoretical exposition as to what sovereignty 'is' and 'means', where Dr Hehir proffers a convincing argument that sovereignty ought to be understood in relative rather than absolutist terms. I would of like to have seen this latter position developed in greater detail, where so doing appeals to a recent trend in international relations discourse to 'historicise' and 'rethink' the discipline's fundamental concepts, principles and events (Westphalia etc). I do understand, however, that this is not the book's central aim and so to criticise it for this reason would be gratuitous.The latter stages of the book are devoted to grasping the nettle of reforming those international institutions (particularly the Security Council) which have often squashed the dreams of R2P advocates. Cynics (and/or realists!) would of course reject Dr Hehir's argument that the permanent five members of the Security Council should give up their privileged position. However, as Dr Hehir notes in the introduction, to merely critique without offering a package of reform is of little help going forward.I really enjoyed this book. It helped clarify my thinking on R2P (I was a cynic, but for different reasons), and introduced me to a vast range of other scholarship devoted to the humanitarian intervention problem. It helped enormously in both my undergraduate and master's degree. Of course, whilst my short comments here cannot hope to do justice to this excellent book, I nevertheless hope that they may be of use!PS - I'm at a loss as to how the previous reviewer's copy kept losing pages. My copy - having been read to death - is still holding strong! Try to avoid cracking the spine; where doing so will damage most books.

  • By mk89 on 3 September 2014

    Although it is a really interesting read the pages of the book just kept falling out no matter how careful I was with it.

  • Name:
    The message text*: