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The responsibility to protect and the great powers: the tensions of dual responsibility

Morris, Justin


Dr Justin Morris
Senior Lecturer/ Director of Undergraduate Admissions


Since the UN’s 2005 adoption of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) the five permanent members (P5) of the organisation’s Security Council have been burdened with a special dual responsibility, entailing a special responsibility to maintain international peace and security, and a special responsibility to assist those imperilled by the mass atrocity crimes of their home state. The tensions which can arise within this dual responsibility is a largely under-explored aspect of the R2P literature. But consideration of it helps explain why, despite differing views over how best to balance individual and state rights, at times accentuated by clashing interests, the P5 have nevertheless found common R2P ground, most particularly in their largely concerted opposition to the idea of a ‘responsibility not to veto’ R2P-related resolutions within the Council.


Morris, J. (2015). The responsibility to protect and the great powers: the tensions of dual responsibility. Global Responsibility to Protect, 7(3-4), 398-421.

Acceptance Date Jul 31, 2015
Online Publication Date Jul 31, 2015
Publication Date Oct 30, 2015
Deposit Date Apr 27, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jan 10, 2018
Journal Global responsibility to protect
Print ISSN 1875-9858
Electronic ISSN 1875-984X
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 7
Issue 3-4
Pages 398-421
Keywords Great powers; International order; Responsibility not to veto; Dual responsibility
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information Authors' accepted manuscript of article published in: Global responsibility to protect, 2015, v.7, issue 3-4.


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