The Responsibility to Protect in Libya and Syria: Europe, the USA and Global Human Rights Governance

  • Nathalie Tocci
Part of the Palgrave Studies in European Union Politics book series (PSEUP)


Tocci starts off by recalling that values, prime amongst which human rights and fundamental freedoms, democracy and free market capitalism, have traditionally been the lynchpin of the transatlantic bond. Based on this broadly shared bedrock of liberal values, her chapter gauges the effectiveness of the transatlantic partners to enshrine individual human rights in the global governance architecture. In particular, it concentrates on a political norm in-the-making—the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). To what extent are the European Union and the United States, in partnership and/or independently, succeeding in entrenching R2P as an accepted political norm at the global level? In particular, to what extent are non-Western powers, notably the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) endorsing R2P? How did the international response to the conflicts in Libya and Syria affect the global conversation over R2P?


EU foreign policy US foreign policy R2P Libya Syria Global governance 


  1. Africa, S., & Pretorius, R. (2012). South Africa, the African Union and the responsibility to protect: The case of Libya. African Human Rights Law Journal, 12(2), 394–416.Google Scholar
  2. Allison, R. (2009). The Russian case for military intervention in Georgia. European Security, 18(2), 173–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bellamy, A. J. (2006). Wither the responsibility to protect? Ethics and International Affairs, 20(2), 143–169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bellamy, A. J., & Williams, P. D. (2011). The new politics of protection? Côte d’Ivoire, Libya and the responsibility to protect. International Affairs, 87(4), 825–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Benner, T. (2013, March). Brazil as a norm entrepreneur: The “Responsibility while protecting” initiative, GPPI.Google Scholar
  6. Bolopion, P. (2011). After Libya, the question: To protect or depose? LA Times, 25 August.
  7. Bush, R., Martiniello, G., & Mercer, C. (2011). Humanitarian imperialism. Review of African Political Economy, 38, 357–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Capie, D. (2012). The responsibility to protect norm in Southeast Asia. The Pacific Review, 25(1), 75–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Chakrabarty, B. (2008). Indian politics and society since independence. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Charp, S. (2013). Russia, Syria and the doctrine of intervention. Survival, 55, 35–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Dembinski, M., & Reinold, T. (2011). Libya and the future of the responsibility to protect- African and European perspectives. Peace Research Institute Frankfurt, 107.Google Scholar
  12. European Council. (2003, December 12). A Secure Europe in a better world. European security strategy.
  13. European Parliament. (2011). Resolution 10 March on the Southern neighbourhood, and Libya in particular. EP, Doc PV P7_TA(2011)0095.
  14. Evans, G. (2012, July 20). The R2P after Libya and Syria. Castan Centre for Human Rights Law.Google Scholar
  15. Glanville, L. (2012). The responsibility to protect beyond borders. Human Rights Law Review, 12(1), 1–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Hall, I. (2013). Tilting at windmills? The Indian debate over the responsibility to protect after UNSC resolution 1973. Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(1), 84–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hehir, A. (2012). The responsibility to protect. Rhetoric, reality and the future of humanitarian intervention. Basingstoke and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  18. ICISS. (2001). The responsibility to protect. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre.Google Scholar
  19. Jentleson, B. W. (2012). The Obama administration and R2P: Progress, problems and prospects. Global Responsibility to Protect, 4(4), 399–423.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Kenkel, K. M. (2012). Brazil and R2P: Does taking responsibility mean using force? Global Responsibility to Protect, 4, 5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Kuperman, K. (2008). The Moral Hazard of humanitarian intervention. International Studies Quarterly, 52(1), 49.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Kuperman, A. J. (2013). A model humanitarian intervention? Reassessing NATO’s Libya campaign. International Security, 38(1), 105–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Landsberg, C. (2010). Pax South Africana and the R2P. Global Responsibility to Protect, 2, 436–457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Luttwak, E. (1999–2000). Kofi’s rule. The national interest, 58, 60.Google Scholar
  25. Menkiszak, M. (2013, May). Responsibility to protect…itself? FIIA Briefing Paper 131.Google Scholar
  26. Nanda, V. (2013). The future under international law of the responsibility to protect after Libya and Syria. Michigan State University Journal of International Law, 21(1), 1–42.Google Scholar
  27. Obama, B. (2011, March 28). Remarks by the president in address to the nation on Libya at National Defense University.
  28. Pattison, J. (2013). The ethics of “responsibility while protecting”. Human Rights and Human Welfare, Working Paper 71.Google Scholar
  29. Prantl, J., & Nakano, R. (2011). Global norm diffusion in East Asia. NTS Working Paper Series.Google Scholar
  30. Quinton-Brown, P. (2013). Mapping dissent: The responsibility to protect and its state critics. Global Responsibility to Protect, 5(3), 260–282.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Reinold, T. (2011). The United States and the responsibility to protect: Impediment, bystander, or norm leader? Global Responsibility to Protect, 3(1), 61–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Saira, M. (2012). Taking stock of the responsibility to protect. Stanford Journal of International Law, 48, 319–339.Google Scholar
  33. Serrano, M. (2011). The responsibility to protect and its critics: Explaining the consensus. Global Responsibility to Protect, 3, 4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Spektor, M. (2012). Humanitarian interventionism Brazilian style? Americas Quarterly, 54.Google Scholar
  35. The Guardian. (2011). Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy: No let-up in Libya until Gaddafi departs. Gaddafi must go and go for good. The Guardian, 15 April 2011.Google Scholar
  36. UNSG. (2009). Report on the implementation of R2P. New York: UN.Google Scholar
  37. UNSG. (2010). Report on early warning, assessment and the responsibility to protect. New York: UN.Google Scholar
  38. UNSG. (2012, July 25). Responsibility to protect: Timely and decisive response. General Assembly Security Council (p. 15).
  39. UN Week. (2011, February 28). The inside view on the UN. UN Week, 2 February 11.
  40. US Department of State. (2010). The first quadrennial diplomacy and development review: Leading through civilian power.
  41. Weiss, T. (2004). The sunset of humanitarian intervention? Security Dialogue, 35(2), 135–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nathalie Tocci
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto Affari InternazionaliRomeItaly

Personalised recommendations