The Responsibility to Protect: A review of the main debates in its first decade

Michael Thykier, Jonathan Graham, Rune Stürup Hansen, Nanna Dyrbye Benting, Holm Sanden, Ninna Katrine & Maria Møller Stoffregen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This review explores the field of literature on the concept of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), specifically in relation to its inconsistent implementation and the debates related hereto. The issue of inconsistency is a core focus in many of the main theoretical debates within the field, specifically the contrasting cases of Libya and Syria, the debate of the influence of state interests in implementation, the debate of the (vague) legal dimension of RtoP, as well as different critical perspectives on the concept. In the second section of the review, the methodological approaches within the lit-erature are drawn out, specifically case studies, document analysis, interview, dis-course analysis and the methods of critical approaches. How these methodologies im-plicate the findings and arguments on inconsistencies is reflected upon. Then, crucial gaps in the literature are identified, specifically the proportion of problem-solving theory versus critical theory, the variety in methodologies in the literature, the lack of concrete suggestions for improvements on the issue of inconsistency, and, in relation to future engagement, new strategies to rethink RtoP. Finally, we argue that filling these gaps in the literature can contribute to approaching a more comprehensive un-derstanding of why there is inconsistency in the implementation of RtoP.

UddannelserGlobal Studies, (Bachelor/kandidatuddannelse) Bachelor el. kandidat
Udgivelsesdato15 jan. 2016
VejledereLaust Schouenborg


  • RtoP
  • Inconsistency
  • Review