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Can France succeed in limiting the veto in cases of mass atrocities?

Laurent Fabius, France’s Foreign Minister

There is little doubt that, despite the dramatic progress made over the past decade, the international community still too often fails the victims of governments unable or unwilling to protect their populations. The system that was supposed to do this is still far from perfect, as we can see today in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and elsewhere. The UN Security Council bears an important part of the responsibility, and its inaction has weakened its authority and legitimacy. Most notably, Russia and China have, since 2011, cast four vetoes to block international action in Syria, where more than 200,000 have been killed since the conflict began. It is important to point out that none of the proposed …

Liu-Jieyi

Responsible Protection: Chinese norm entrepreneurship?

Liu Jieyi, Permanent Representative of the People’s Republic of China to the UN

Review: Garwood-Gowers, Andrew (2014) China’s “Responsible Protection” concept : re-interpreting the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and military intervention for humanitarian purposes. Asian Journal of International Law.

The global discussion about the prevention of mass atrocities and the responsibility to protect (R2P) is often wrongly understood in the context of a West vs. Rest dynamic. The US and Europe, according to this view, tend to be quick to adopt resolutions criticizing governments of countries where atrocities occur, and often recommend military intervention, while the BRICS, led by Russia and China, are categorically opposed to both critical resolutions or intervention. The situation in Syria, according to this narrative, shows …

Política Internacional em 2015: dez previsões

1. A Rússia e o Ocidente: caminhando para um longo período de distanciamento

Esforços para melhorar os laços entre a Rússia e o Ocidente serão dificultados pelo fato de que a situação atual não resulta de aborrecimentos de curto prazo ou de problemas relativos a uma política específica, mas sim, de um desentendimento mais profundo entre a arquitetura de segurança europeia e a distribuição de poder nos países vizinhos à Rússia como um todo. A menos que o líder russo sinta que seu país possa implodir economicamente, as perspectivas de um recomeço significativo são mínimas; mesmo que haja um colapso russo, não há garantias que haveria uma reaproximação. Ainda que um acordo de paz seja assinado em breve entre a …

Available For Pre-Order: “Brazil on the Global Stage: Power, Ideas, and the Liberal International Order”

Pre-order here

Hardcover – April 16, 2015
by Matthew M. Taylor (Editor), Oliver Stuenkel (Editor)
ISBN-13: 978-1137491640
ISBN-10: 1137491647

In the past generation, Brazil has risen to become the seventh largest economy and fourth largest democracy in the world. Yet its rise challenges the conventional wisdom that capitalist democracies will necessarily converge to become faithful adherents of a US-led global liberal order. Indeed, Brazil demonstrates that middle powers, even those of a deeply democratic bent, may differ in their views of what democracy means on the global stage and how international relations should be conducted among sovereign nations. This volume explores Brazil’s postures on specific aspects of foreign relations, including trade, foreign and environmental policy, humanitarian intervention, nuclear proliferation …

Can Mauro Vieira rescue Brazil’s foreign policy?

Mauro Vieira is a lucky man. Since yesterday, he occupies one the most coveted positions in the foreign policy world. Free from immediate security challenges in the neighborhood or complex military entanglements in far-away places, the Brazilian foreign minister has the opportunity and considerable authority to weigh in on virtually any international challenge. Brazil’s stable and vibrant democratic regime, no colonizer’s past, one of the world’s most diverse populations, considerable soft power and a unique capacity to engage with both Western and non-Western actors generates far more room for maneuver than most other governments possess. Even in issues the country has only a limited foreign-policy track record, such as humanitarian intervention or nuclear proliferation in the Middle East, Brazil can …

International Politics in 2015: Ten Predictions

1. Russia and the West: Towards long-term estrangement

Attempts to improve ties between Russia and the West will be hampered by the fact that the current state of affairs is not the product of short-term animosities or problem about a particular policy issue, but a more fundamental disagreement about the European security architecture and the distribution of power in Russia’s neighborhood in general. Unless Russia’s leader fears that his country could implode economically, chances for a meaningful reset are slim, and even in case of a Russian collapse a rapprochement would be far from guaranteed. Even if a peace deal is reached soon between Ukraine and the Russian-backed rebels, deep-seated distrust will remain for years to come. That will turn …