The People vs. The State

Reflections on UN Authority, US Power and the Responsibility to Protect

image of The People vs. The State
Responsibility to Protect (R2P) aims to convert international conscience into timely and decisive collective action to rescue vulnerable communities. The choice is not whether international interventions will take place but where, when, how and under whose authority. Given the nature and victims of modern armed conflict, protection of civilians and populations at risk of mass atrocities is a core United Nations imperative. But while the UN has international authority, it lacks military power. Although its military might well have unmatched global reach, the United States acting unilaterally lacks international authority. This publication argues that progress towards good international society requires that force be harnessed to authority as the R2P moves from a universally validated principle to a routinely actionable norm.



NATO in the Balkans: Between failure and disaster

One year after the start of the war over Kosovo, it is clear that those who thought they understood the Balkans were sadly wrong. A graveyard for would-be statesmen throughout the twentieth century, the Balkans throws up a difficulty for every solution. NATO’s effective choices in Kosovo seem to have been reduced today to policy failure (abandon the dream of a multi-ethnic society living peacefully together) or policy disaster (be drawn increasingly into a quagmire that turns NATO into an object of hatred and attacks by both sides).


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