The Impact of the Libya Intervention: Debates on Norms of Protection


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by Sarah Brockmeier, Oliver Stuenkel & Marcos Tourinho


Published online: 05 Nov 2015

DOI: 10.1080/13600826.2015.1094029


Resolution 1973, which authorised military intervention in Libya, marked the first time that the United Nations Security Council explicitly mandated the use of force against a functioning state to prevent imminent atrocity crimes. While some hailed the resolution and the subsequent intervention in Libya as a victory for the concept of the international community's “responsibility to protect” (R2P), others predicted its early death. This article argues for a more nuanced view on the impact of the Libya intervention on the debates on R2P. As we will show, the intervention in Libya demonstrated new areas of agreement and at the same time revealed persisting and new disagreements within the international community on the role of the use of force to protect populations.

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Photo credit: BBC News Africa