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Regime-Induced Displacement and Decision-Making Within the United Nations Security Council: The Cases of Northern Iraq, Kosovo, and Darfur

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Regime-Induced Displacement – when governments deliberately use coercive tactics to cause mass displacement – is an increasing phenomenon. It is a problem for the international community because these situations challenge the ability of international and non-governmental organisations to provide the displaced with basic levels of protection and assistance. Yet even while these crises frequently cross the threshold envisioned in the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine, the Security Council has generally avoided direct interventions, as the ongoing crisis in Darfur demonstrates. This paper argues that this is not new behaviour. Rather, even the two most notable interventions to protect the displaced in these situations – the US-led military deployment in Northern Iraq in 1991 and the NATO-led intervention in Kosovo – were driven by circumstances and politics outside of the Council. This suggests that even as regime-induced displacement is increasing, the likelihood of seeing the Security Council use the R2P doctrine to protect the displaced without reform is negligible.


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