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International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect
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Major Powers and the Contested Evolution of a ‘Responsibility to Protect’
Global Public Policy Institute
15 May 2014
The debate about a responsibility to protect people from mass atrocities goes to the heart of current changes in the world. Coinciding with the shift of power and influence away from the West, its nascent and contested evolution as a norm has become a crucial arena in which fundamental conflicts about the future global order play out – far beyond simplistic dichotomies between ‘North’ and ‘South’ or ‘West’ and ‘Rest’.  
This special issue analyses how Brazil, China, Europe, India, South Africa and the United States engaged with these struggles over sovereignty and responsibility, universalism and exceptionalism, hypocrisy and selectivity. The papers pursue three goals: to study major powers’ normative foreign policies in their historical, institutional and cultural background, to bring the role of major powers back into the analysis of norm development and to expand on the standard narrative about the evolution of ‘R2P’ by embedding it in a more global, less-Western centric context. (…)
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