AbstractsPolitical Science

Responsible Powers and Responsibility to Protect

by Maria Pontoppidan

Institution: Roskilde University
Year: 2015
Keywords: R2P, RwP, RP, Brazil, China
Record ID: 1118982
Full text PDF: http://rudar.ruc.dk/handle/1800/19363


Abstract: The aim of this project is to explore Brazil's and China's positions in the international society in terms of 'the Responsibility to Protect' (R2P). We use the English School as our theoretical framework, especially utilising the concepts of pluralism and solidarism in the debate on sovereignty and non-interference vs. human rights transcending sovereignty, respectively as the guiding principles of international society. Great power status and international responsibility, are also key concepts employed throughout the project, which is discussed from a historical perspective, in terms of Brazil's and China's roles as emerging powers. We argue how Brazil’s and China’s relationships with R2P have evolved from being embedded in a rigid pluralistic understanding of the international society, to paying closer attention to solidaristic understandings of the international society such as R2P. This culminated in their formulation of Brazil's Responsibility while Protecting and China's Responsible Protection, which show that they are actively engaging with R2P, and acknowledge that R2P does have a role to play in guiding the international society. This is despite the fact that both states voiced a condemnatory critique of the 2011 Libyan intervention. Finally, through a comparative analysis of Brazil's and China's foreign policies and their relationship with R2P we will discuss how both countries have evolved as responsible actors in the international society. We conclude that both states have moved significantly on the pluralism-solidarism continuum, towards accepting and adopting more solidaristic foreign policies.