Responsibility to Protect is a Power Play

TitleResponsibility to Protect is a Power Play
Publication TypeNewspaper Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsJohnstone, Diana
NewspaperMinneapolis Star Tribune
Issue Date2013/01/25/

The 2013 French operation in Mali reinvigorated debates over humanitarian intervention. In this article, independent scholar Diane Johnstone argues that the concept and language of genocide is being appropriated to justify interventionist policies by major powers. Johnstone is concerned that the obviously commendable and uncontroversial desire to prevent genocide has provided a pretext for great power interference in the affairs of smaller states. She also argues that the responsibility to protect undermines the perception that war is an atrocity in itself, and turns war into a legitimate tool for atrocity-prevention.

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