Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect
I have written widely on various topics on humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine. Although not listed here, my recent work on the alternatives to war also considers nonmilitary ways of fulfilling the R2P (see separate tab).
James Pattison (2018) “The Responsibility to Protect and International Political Theory”, in Chris Brown and Robyn Eckersley (eds), Oxford Handbook of International Political Theory (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp. 330-42. - Abstract: This chapter considers the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in the context of broader debates in International Political Theory. First, it suggests that central to the appeal—and success—of R2P is that its central premises strike a plausible balance between statist and cosmopolitan concerns. Second, it argues, notwithstanding, that R2P still faces challenges from statism and cosmopolitanism, including the apparent statism of R2P’s pillar II and the worries amongst certain non-Western states that R2P still has an unduly strong liberal cosmopolitan bent. Third, it argues that much of the recent debate on R2P about the efficacy of the norm is somewhat unproductive because this depends on a tricky counterfactual judgement about the utility and feasibility of potential alternative norms. The chapter concludes by arguing that a far more pertinent (and neglected) issue is how much political will should be invested in R2P, relative to other, morally valuable agenda.
James Pattison (2017) “Perilous Noninterventions? The Counterfactual Assessment of Libya and the Need to be a Responsible Power”, Global Responsibility to Protect, 9/2: 219–28. - Abstract: This article argues that Hardeep Singh Puri’s Perilous Interventions fails to fully grasp the risk of perilous nonintervention. It makes two central points. First, the fallacious critique of intervention reflects a worryingly narrow understanding of the R2P, particularly its third pillar, which overlooks the contributions that the R2P can make more generally. Second, Puri’s account highlights a clear lack of responsible leadership on behalf of India, in particular in relation to its failure to support fully the ‘Responsibly while Protecting’ proposal and lack of critique of the foreign policy of Russia.
James Pattison (2017) “Guns vs Troops: The Ethics of Supplying Arms”, in Aidan Hehir and Robert Murray (eds), Protecting Human Rights in the 21st Century(London: Routledge). - This paper compares the case for arming rebels with the case for intervention.
James Pattison (2016) “The Ethics of ‘Responsibility While Protecting’: Brazil, the Responsibility to Protect, and the Restrictive Approach to Humanitarian Intervention”, in Kai Michael Kenkel and Philip Cunliffe (eds), Brazil as a Rising Power: Intervention Norms and the Contestation of Global Order (London: Routledge), pp. 104–26. - This chapter considers (and defends) the Brazilian ‘responsibility while protecting’ proposal and, in doing so, the restrictive approach to intervention
James Pattison (2015) "The Ethics of Diplomatic Criticism: The Responsibility to Protect, Just War Theory, and Presumptive Last Resort”, European Journal of International Relations, 21/4: 935–57. This paper is ‘Gold Open Access’. -Abtsract: This article presents the ethical case for diplomatic criticism as a response to mass atrocities and serious external aggression. It argues, in short, that states have a moral duty to criticise the offending parties. More specifically, it argues that diplomatic criticism is often a plausible and preferable alternative to other means of addressing serious external aggression and mass atrocities (such as war, economic sanctions and other diplomatic measures). It also argues that diplomatic criticism is often preferable to doing nothing, and that even if other means are undertaken, states should engage in diplomatic criticism as well. There are two subsidiary aims of the article. The first is to reject some of the worries surrounding international hypocrisy — I aim to show that even hypocritical diplomatic criticism may be obligatory. The second is to highlight the impact on Just War Theory of considering in more detail the ethical issues raised by the alternatives to war, such as diplomatic criticism, and, more specifically, to present a new account of the last resort principle, which I call ‘Presumptive Last Resort’.
James Pattison (2015) “Jus Post Bellum and the Responsibility to Rebuild", British Journal of Political Science, 45/3: 635–61. Also available from CUP here (copyright CUP). - Abstract: This article considers the issue of who should rebuild after war. Many leading advocates of the relevance of jus post bellum for Just War Theory adhere to the ‘Belligerents Rebuild Thesis’, which holds that those who have been involved with the fighting – such as the victor, just belligerent, unjust aggressor or humanitarian intervener – should be tasked with the responsibility to rebuild. By contrast, this article argues that there is a collective, international duty to rebuild that should be assigned primarily according to the agent's ability to rebuild – and not necessarily to the belligerents. The article also claims that, in contrast to the prevailing view, considerations of jus post bellum do not play any moral role in the justifiability of a war. Accordingly, defending the Belligerents Rebuild Thesis by invoking the alleged moral relevance of jus post bellum for Just War Theory is mistaken.
James Pattison (2015) “Mapping the Responsibilities to Protect: A Typology of International Duties”,Global Responsibility to Protect, 7/2: 190–210. Also available from Brill here (copyright Brill) - Abstract: The international responsibility to protect is the most important and value-added element of the responsibility to protect (R2P) doctrine. However, the existing accounts of the international responsibilities of R2P are often fairly ad hoc and not clearly systematised, largely focusing on particular responsibilities. Consequently, this article provides a typology of the various international responsibilities required by the R2P. In particular, it presents six types of international responsibility to protect: (1) the responsibility to undertake direct action; (2) the responsibility to support direct action; (3) the responsibility to authorise; (4) the responsibility not to act; (5) the responsibility to advance R2P; and (6) the responsibility to reform. In doing so, it will clarify how these responsibilities hang together and highlight underappreciated responsibilities.
James Pattison (2014) “The Case for Criteria: Moving R2P Forward after the Arab Spring”, e-International Relations. Also published in Robert W. Murray & Alasdair McKay (eds), Into the Eleventh Hour: R2P, Syria and Humanitarianism in Crisis (e-International Relations edited collections), pp. 26–33. - This paper defends the case for criteria for intervention
James Pattison (2014) “Bombing the Beneficiaries: The Distribution of the Costs of the Responsibility to Protect and Humanitarian Intervention”, in Don Scheid (ed), The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 113–30. - This chapter rejects the notion that beneficiaries should bear more of the costs of intervention.
James Pattison (2013) "Is there a Duty to Intervene? Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect", Philosophy Compass, 8/6: 570-9. - This article considers the duty to undertake humanitarian intervention. It first examines the arguments for the duty to intervene and questions the possibility of supererogatory humanitarian intervention. It then considers the leading objections to this duty which, it is argued, are largely unpersuasive. In the final section, the article considers the duty to intervene in the context of the responsibility to protect doctrine, which provides the framework within which debates about humanitarian intervention now in large part occur.
Deane-Peter Baker and James Pattison (2012) "The Principled Case for Employing Private Military and Security Companies in Interventions for Human Rights Purposes", Journal of Applied Philosophy, 29/1: 1–18. - Abstract: The possibility of using private military and security company es to bolster the capacity to undertake intervention for human rights purposes (humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping) has been increasingly debated. The focus of such discussions has, however, largely been on practical issues and the contingent problems posed by private force. By contrast, this article considers the principled case for privatising humanitarian intervention. It focuses on two central issues. First, does outsourcing humanitarian intervention to private military and security companies pose some fundamental, deeper problems in this context, such as an abdication of a state's duties? Second, on the other hand, is there a case for preferring these firms to other, state-based agents of humanitarian intervention? For instance, given a state's duties to their own military personnel, should the use of private military and security contractors be preferred to regular soldiers for humanitarian intervention?
James Pattison (2012) "Assigning Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect" in Julia Hoffmann and André NollKaemper (eds) Responsibility to Protect: From Principle to Practice (Amsterdam University Press/Pallas Publications), pp. 173–84. - This is an abridged version of the argument in my 2010 book
James Pattison (2011) "The Ethics of Humanitarian Intervention in Libya",Ethics & International Affairs, 25/3: 271–7. This article is also available from the copyright holder here. - This article considers the case for the 2011 Libyan intervention and raises three broader issues for the ethics of intervention.
James Pattison (2010) Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect: Who Should Intervene? (Oxford: Oxford University Press). Abstract: Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect considers who should undertake humanitarian intervention in response to an ongoing or impending humanitarian crisis, such as found in Rwanda in early 1994, Kosovo in 1999, and Darfur more recently. The doctrine of the responsibility to protect asserts that when a state is failing to uphold its citizens' human rights, the international community has a responsibility to protect these citizens, including by undertaking humanitarian intervention. It is unclear, however, which particular agent should be tasked with this responsibility. Should we prefer intervention by the UN, NATO, a regional or subregional organization (such as the African Union), a state, a group of states, or someone else? This book answers this question by, first, determining which qualities of interveners are morally significant and, second, assessing the relative importance of these qualities. For instance, is it important that an intervener have a humanitarian motive? Should an intervener be welcomed by those it is trying to save? How important is it that an intervener will be effective and what does this mean in practice? The book then considers the more empirical question of whether (and to what extent) the current interveners actually possess these qualities, and therefore should intervene. For instance, how effective can we expect UN action to be in the future? Is NATO likely to use humanitarian means? Overall, it develops a particular normative conception of legitimacy for humanitarian intervention. It uses this conception of legitimacy to assess not only current interveners, but also the desirability of potential reforms to the mechanisms and agents of humanitarian intervention. - Awarded 'Notable Book Award' by the International Studies Association (International Ethics Section), 2011. - Subject of Symposium in Global Discourse, with reviews by David Miller and Graham Long. -Subject of Review Essays by Jennifer Welsh, Eric Heinze, Steven Lee, Phil Orchard, Peter Hilpold, and Marc G. Doucet
James Pattison (2010) "Outsourcing the Responsibility to Protect: Humanitarian Intervention and Private Military and Security Companies" International Theory, 2/1: 1–31. This article is also available from the copyright holder here. - Abstract: States have recently agreed that there is a responsibility to protect populations threatened by genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. The international community, however, often lacks the resources and willingness to carry out a key part of this responsibility, that is, to undertake humanitarian intervention effectively when required. One potential solution to this problem is to outsource intervention to private military and security companies. In this article, I consider this option. In particular, I present a largely consequentialist argument which asserts that, when two conditions are met, using these companies to bolster the capacity to undertake humanitarian intervention might be morally justifiable overall.
James Pattison (2009) "Humanitarian Intervention, the Responsibility to Protect, and Jus in Bello", Global Responsibility to Protect, 1/3: 346–91. Abstract: This article assesses the moral importance of a humanitarian intervener's fidelity to the principles of international humanitarian law or jus in bello (principles of just conduct in war). I begin by outlining the particular principles of jus in bello that an intervener should follow when discharging the responsibility to protect, drawing on Jeff McMahan's recent work. The second section considers more broadly the moral underpinnings of these principles. I claim that consequentialist justifications of these principles cannot fully grasp their moral significance and, in particular, the difference between doing and allowing. Overall, I argue that these principles are (i) more important and (ii) more stringent in the context of humanitarian intervention.
James Pattison (2008) "Whose Responsibility to Protect? The Duties of Humanitarian Intervention",Journal of Military Ethics, 7/4: 262–83. - Abstract: The International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty's report, The Responsibility to Protect, argues that when a state is unable or unwilling to uphold its citizens' basic human rights, such as in cases of genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity, the international community has a responsibility to protect these citizens by undertaking humanitarian intervention. An essential issue, however, remains unresolved: which particular agent in the international community has the duty to intervene? In this article, I critically examine four ways of assigning this duty. Although I highlight the benefits of institutionalising the responsibility to protect, I argue that we should adopt, in the short term at least, a consequentialist solution: humanitarian intervention should be the responsibility of the intervener that will be the most effective.
James Pattison (2008) "Legitimacy and Humanitarian Intervention: Who Should Intervene?", International Journal of Human Rights, 12/3: 395–413. - Abstract: In this article, I examine who should undertake humanitarian intervention. Should we prefer intervention by the UN, NATO, a regional or sub-regional organisation, a state, a group of states, or someone else? To answer this question, I first determine which qualities of interveners are morally significant. I highlight in particular the importance of an intervener's effectiveness and, in doing so, develop a particular conception of legitimacy for humanitarian intervention. I then consider the more empirical question of whether (and to what extent) the current agents of humanitarian intervention actually possess the morally relevant qualities identified, and therefore should intervene. In the last part of the article, I consider ways of improving agents' willingness to intervene and, ultimately, the legitimacy of humanitarian intervention.
James Pattison (2008) "Humanitarian Intervention and a Cosmopolitan UN Force",Journal of International Political Theory, 4/1: 126–45. This article is also available from the copyright holder here. - Abstract: The current mechanisms and agents of humanitarian intervention are inadequate. As the crisis in Darfur has highlighted, the international community lacks both the willingness to undertake humanitarian intervention and the ability to do so legitimately. This article considers a cosmopolitan solution to these problems: the creation of a standing army for the United Nations. There have been a number of proposals for such a force, including many recently. However, they contain two central flaws: the force proposed would be, firstly, too small and, secondly, too dependent on major states. Accordingly, I argue that, to be a substantial improvement on the current situation, such a force would need to be, firstly, much larger and, secondly, in the hands of cosmopolitan democratic institutions. This two-part solution would solve the problems faced by current interveners, but is unlikely to be realised soon. Accordingly, I argue that our immediate efforts should instead be concentrated on improving regional organisations' ability to intervene.
James Pattison (2007) "Representativeness and Humanitarian Intervention",Journal of Social Philosophy, 38/4: 569–87. This article is also available from the copyright holder here. - This article defends the need for intervention to have the support of the populations of (1) the target state and (2) the intervener.
James Pattison (2007) "Humanitarian Intervention and International Law: The Moral Significance of an Intervener's Legal Status",Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 10/3: 301–19. - Abstract: Although states have recently agreed that there is a universal responsibility to undertake humanitarian intervention to protect populations from egregious violations of human rights, it is unclear who exactly in the international community should intervene. One option, favoured by many, is that intervention should be undertaken by those interveners whose action would be legal according to current international law. This article considers this option by assessing the moral importance of an intervener’s legal status. I begin by suggesting that according to the current international law on humanitarian intervention, UN Security Council authorisation is required for an intervener’s action to be legal. Then, in the main part of the article, I critically examine four reasons for treating an intervener’s legal status as morally significant. Specifically, I argue that it is significantly less morally important that an intervener have UN Security Council authorisation, and therefore be legal, than is commonly assumed.