Unanimously endorsed in 2005, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is the newest principle guiding United Nations (UN) peacekeeping, and the first including a legitimisation of the use of force. Asking whether the UN should engage in peacekeeping missions based on R2P, my research seeks a better understanding and assessment of the doctrine.
The main insight from the academic debate is the prevalence of different, contradictory interpretations of the central concepts comprising the R2P principle. A concept map illuminates the conflicting perceptions of sovereignty, security, protection and intervention. The UN discourse echoes these clashes, whereby disagreement around its meaning results in different evaluations of the principle. However, to study the doctrine and its representation in the UN as well as implications for peacekeeping, these contradictions and indeterminacies need to be better understood. The principle primarily needs clarification and delimitation to be advanced in the UN and evaluate its relevance for peacekeeping.
Lessons for Practice
Keywords: responsibility to protect, conceptual analysis, discourse analysis, UN peacekeeping
Citation: Mayr, L. (2021). Should the United Nations Engage in Peacekeeping Missions Based on the Responsibility to Protect? . Public Note, URS
"I am 21 years old and have just started my Master in Conflict Studies & Human Rights at Utrecht University. I already chose for my Bachelor in Philosophy, Politics & Economics with a special interest in international relations, diplomacy, conflict and global and socio-economic inequality. After initially diving deeper into political philosophy, qualitative research and welfare politics, my exchange at Sciences Po Bordeaux resurfaced these interests. Taking courses in international relations as well as African and Postcolonial studies, I decided to shift my focus towards conflict studies and write my thesis in the field. The conceptual discourse analysis allowed me to combine the philosophical perspective with my interest in global politics, diplomacy and international relations.
I feel very lucky to get the opportunity to publish this small insight into the research for my Undergraduate thesis. At the same time, even the few months between the writing process and publication, but especially the new learnings from my Master have already broadened my perspective and given me the chance to reflect on my findings and place them in their bigger context. Therefore, I look forward to continue to grow, learn and adapt and define my point of view from further experiences and research."