Handbook of Critical International Relations
Show Less

Handbook of Critical International Relations

Edited by Steven C. Roach

Comprising a plurality of perspectives, this timely Handbook is an essential resource for understanding past and current challenges to democracy, justice, social and gender equality, identity and freedom. It shows how critical international relations (IR) theory functions as a broad-based and diverse critique of society.
Buy Book in Print
Show Summary Details
You do not have access to this content

Chapter 18: The responsibility to protect: the rise of liberal authoritarianism

Philip Cunliffe


The chapter argues that the responsibility to protect represents a paternalistic model of state power and political authority, embodying the most conservative understanding of political responsibility – responsibility for, rather than responsibility to, people. It aims to analyse the growing sentiment of progress in human rights through the responsibility to protect and how this constitutes a mirage, optical illusion only visible from the vantage point of surveying the international order. It shows that the international perspective of the responsibility to protect looks different from within the state, which is where the domain of the responsibility to protect is supposed to apply. In doing so, it asks: how does this reality affect existing structures of power and political authority within the state? Instead of the teleological vantage point of international relations, the chapter analyses the responsibility to protect from the vantage point of domestic political order. Thus, it treats the responsibility to protect not as a theory of intervention but as a model of state power and authority.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.

Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.

Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

Further information

or login to access all content.