Tuesday, 15 November 2011

The Responsibility To Protect In Libya: The New Imperialism?

The idea of military intervention legitimised by ‘humanitarian’ ideals is nothing new. The concept of responsibility to protect (R2P) however, has risen to prominence in international relations discourse since the end of the cold war. The R2P concept has created much debate, with some seeing it as an important development that redefines state sovereignty in terms of responsibility to protect citizens rather than borders or territory. Critics however see the concept of R2P as Western liberal imperialism dressed up to cloak its true nature.  The recent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) sanctioned North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) military intervention into Libya, based on the concept of R2P, has reignited this debate.