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The Responsibility to Protect: One-time Incentive or Lasting Advancement for International law?

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Chapter Summary

The attacks of September 11, 2001 shocked the United States, as well as the entire world, and caused many to lose faith in the ability of the world order and its laws to guarantee safety. From this time until the Iraq War, international law experienced a crisis of legitimation: the "War on Terror" and international security took priority. In this chapter, the question of whether the responsibility to protect is merely a one-time incentive for development or a lasting advancement in international law is examined. The responsibility to protect has its origins in the attempt to place the problem of humanitarian intervention, after then recent experiences, on a new foundation and thereby secure greater support for it. The "responsibility to protect" thus serves not only to aid the isolated case of the realization of human rights, but also generally to sustain the international system and its legitimation.

Keywords: human rights; humanitarian legitimation; international law; international security; Responsibility to Protect (R2P)



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