Regulating intervention: Brazil and the responsibility to protect
Conflict, Security & Development
Oliver Stuenkel & Marcos Tourinho
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In the last decade, Brazil has engaged with the idea of an international responsibility to protect (R2P) in a notable fashion. As a frequent member of the Security Council in the post-Cold War era, the country resisted suggestions of a responsibility to intervene in humanitarian crises, fearing it would serve to justify military action outside of the scope of the UN Charter and international law. Following the adoption of R2P in the 2005 World Summit, Brazil engaged with the concept more closely. This culminated in the ‘responsibility while protecting’, a proposed addendum that would ensure clearer criteria and greater accountability of UN-authorised military interventions. This paper describes Brazilian foreign policy perspectives through this period and analyses their contribution to the political and normative development of R2P. It argues that while Brazil has become more vocal and proactive in relation to the norm in recent years, its positions remained driven by some of its most traditional foreign policy arguments: the strengthening of the authority of the UN Security Council and the establishment of a multilateral order in which all states are treated equally.
Published online: 30 Jun 2014
Oliver Stuenkel: International Relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo, Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi), Oliver Stuenkel is Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Getúlio Vargas Foundation (FGV) in São Paulo, and non-resident fellow at the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi).
Marcos Tourinho: Center for International Relations, School of Social Sciences at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, Marcos Tourinho is Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Center for International Relations, School of Social Sciences at the Fundação Getulio Vargas, São Paulo, Brazil.
The two authors have collaborated as part of a research project on ‘Global Norm Evolution and the Responsibility to Protect’ (www.globalnorms.net).