Dr. Abi Williams, President of The Hague Institute, recently published a chapter on ‘Global Governance and the Responsibility to Protect’ in a volume entitled “Theorising the Responsibility to Protect” edited by Ramesh Thakur and William Maley.
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. In the book Williams argues that R2P’s development is ‘inextricably linked with the public face of global governance, the United Nations’, which in turn generates a need for institutional reform in both the UN system and at national levels. 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.