State Sovereignty and Intervention in the Age of Responsibility to Protect: Analysis of Libya and Syria




Kirushev, Vladimir

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In 2005, the United Nations adopted a new norm called the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). R2P is an attempt to reconcile the concepts of state sovereignty and humanitarian intervention by adding a new dimension of responsibility of civilian protection to state sovereignty and to the international community. In theory, the adoption to R2P can be perceived as a significant shift to the contemporary meaning of sovereignty. This thesis will explore the actual practical impact of R2P on state sovereignty in the context of humanitarian crises by comparing the recent civil wars in Libya and Syria and the reactions to each conflict by the international community. The thesis comes to a conclusion R2P’s practical implications on state sovereignty are weak in contexts where numerous other factors dominate the legal decision making process at the UN, which by default is designed to favor traditional notions of sovereignty.



Syria, Libya, Intervention, Sovereignty