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The Responsibility to Protect Ten Years on from the World Summit: A Call to Manage Expectations

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This article draws on non-Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) research into expectations to argue that in the aftermath of the intervention in Libya and non-intervention in Syria scholars have to manage RtoP expectations. In so doing, it introduces four types of expectations into the RtoP discourse: ‘expectation gaps’, ‘expectation vacuums’, ‘expectation clouding’, and ‘inherited expectations’ – the latter of which is this author’s own contribution to the discourse. To illustrate the utility of the expectations approach, the article focuses on the debate over inconsistency in order to highlight the role of expectation gaps and inherited expectations. Going forward, it calls for further research into RtoP expectation management to be conducted and identifies key debates which need to be addressed. Ultimately, it advances an understanding of the RtoP that is inherently more sensitive to its limitations and possibilities.

Affiliations: 1: University of Leeds,


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