The feasibility of an expanded regime on the use of force: the case of the responsibility to protect
Douglas Brommessonand Henrik Friberg Fernros
Journal of International Relations and Development
18 May 2012
This article addresses the question of whether an expanded regime on the use of force, based on the report The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS) of 2001, would be feasible. The formula of the R2P has since found its way into the United Nations machinery via the final resolution from the World Summit in 2005 and can be seen as an emerging and more permissive norm on the use of force in cases of humanitarian catastrophes. The question of whether or not the theoretical framework of the norm is feasible is therefore urgent. Our analysis of feasibility is based on three logics of human action: the logic of consequence, logic of appropriateness and logic of arguing. We argue that each of these logics contains aspects that must be observed before a regime can be considered feasible. These logics are coupled with three mechanisms of socialisation of norms: strategic calculation, role-playing and normative suasion. We construct a minimal standard for a feasible regime by deducing requirements from the logics and their mechanisms, and then apply that standard to the content of the ICISS report. The empirical results show that the report must address the fact that it lacks qualities in regard to all three logics, before the expanded regime can be considered feasible.
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