Global Justice, Kant and the Responsibility to Protect
A Provisional Duty
Routledge – 2013 – 206 pages
This book provides an innovative contribution to the study of the Responsibility to Protect and Kantian political theory.
The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) doctrine has been heralded as the new international security norm to ensure the protection of peoples against genocide, ethnic cleansing, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet, for all of the discussion, endorsements and reaffirmations of this new norm, R2P continues to come under fire for its failures, particularly, and most recently, in the case of Syria.
This book argues that a duty to protect is best considered a Kantian provisional duty of justice. The international system ought to be considered a state of nature, where legal institutions are either weak or absent, and so duties of justice in such a condition cannot be considered peremptory. This book suggests that by understanding the duty’s provisional status, we understand the necessity of creating the requisite executive, legislative and judicial authorities. Furthermore, the book provides three innovative contributions to the literature, study and practice of R2P and Kantian political theory: it provides detailed theoretical analysis of R2P; it addresses the research gap that exists with Kant’s account of justice in states of nature; and it presents a more comprehensive understanding of the metaphysics of justice as well as R2P.
This book will be of much interest to students of the Responsibility to Protect, humanitarian intervention, global ethics, international law, security studies and international relations (IR) in general.
Introduction: Kant, Global Justice and R2P 1. Kantian Provisional Duties 2. Provisional Protection: R2P as a Provisional Duty 3. Kant’s Permissive Laws 4. Permissible Coercion 5. Provisional to Peremptory: Institutionalizing a Duty to Protect 6. Conclusion: R2P and the Real World – Libya and Syria
Heather M. Roff is Visiting Associate Professor at Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is also a Research Associate at the Eisenhower Center for Space and Strategic Studies with the US Air Force Academy.