NATO, Regionalism, and the Responsibility to Protect
Ian Shapiro and Adam Tooze (eds), Charter of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation together with Scholarly Commentaries and Essential Historical Documents (2016 Forthcoming)
19 Pages Posted: 8 Nov 2016
Date Written: June 6, 2015
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has been an important player in the emergence and consolidation of the responsibility to protect concept. This chapter considers the implications of the new and expansive role that NATO has claimed for itself in protecting civilians not only within but also beyond the North Atlantic area. Part 1 considers the initial mandate of NATO, and its relationship to the uneasy compromise between universalist and regionalist visions of international security embedded in the UN Charter. Part 2 examines the challenges posed to traditional understandings of the NATO mandate and area of operation by the ending of the Cold War, and analyses the Kosovo intervention as a turning point in the history both of NATO and of international law relating to intervention. Part 3 explores the use of the responsibility to protect concept to frame the Security Council resolutions mandating the use of force against Libya in 2011 and the role that NATO played in taking up that Security Council mandate. In the aftermath of the NATO operation in Libya, UK and US policymakers and commentators have begun to focus increasingly on the potential of regional actors as agents for realising the responsibility to protect. Part 4 concludes by critically assessing the turn to regionalism in the development of new policies and practices relating to civilian protection, and asks what that turn might mean for the universalist ambitions of the existing international legal order.
Keywords: NATO, responsibility to protect, regionalism, international law
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