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  • Cited by 3
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
August 2015
Print publication year:
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Book description

One of the most important developments in world politics in the last decade has been the spread of the idea that state sovereignty comes with responsibilities as well as privileges, and that there exists a global responsibility to protect people threatened by mass atrocities. The principle of the Responsibility to Protect is an acknowledgment by all who live in zones of safety of a duty of care towards those in zones of danger. Thakur and Maley argue that this principle has not been discussed sufficiently in the context of international and political theory, in particular the nature and foundations of political and international order and the strength and legitimacy of the state. The book brings together a range of authors to discuss the different ways in which the Responsibility to Protect can be theorised, using case studies to locate the idea within wider traditions of moral responsibilities in international relations.


'Practice sometimes outpaces norms, or vice-versa; but whatever the sequencing, theorizing is invariably farther behind still. Thakur and Malley have assembled a distinguished but distinctive and diverse group of soloists rather than harmonious choristers. Powerful and persuasive essays are the result, everything you wanted to know about R2P and were afraid to ask.'

Thomas G. Weiss - Graduate Center, City University of New York

'This thought provoking set of essays by leading thinkers on the prospects and challenges of R2P will interest anyone who cares about innovative and consequential ideas in global political affairs.'

Taylor B. Seybolt - Associate Professor and Director of the Ford Institute for Human Security, University of Pittsburgh

'What makes this book stand out … is the exhaustive coverage of the various ways in which R2P is linked to international and political theory, in order to explain how it shapes the political and international order … this is, in sum, a superbly integrated edited volume. It does an excellent job unfolding the philosophical and practical debates on R2P, which makes it a must-read for practitioners, academics and students interested in this salient topic.'

Cristina G Stefan Source: International Affairs

'… an outstanding collection of well-referenced contributions from a broad spectrum of cultures and experience.'

John Sanderson Source: Australian Institute of International Affairs

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