The Responsibility to Protect and Africa's International Relations

TitleThe Responsibility to Protect and Africa's International Relations
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsBranch, Adam
EditorMurithi, Tim
Book TitleHandbook of Africa's International Relations
CityOxford, UK

The Responsibility to Protect, or R2P, today finds itself invoked widely among international policy makers as well as academics, and Africa is the region with which it has been most closely identified. This chapter questions this conventional wisdom on R2P and Africa. It locates R2P's precipitous rise not in a supposed organic relation to the continent, but in its inherent ambiguity, which makes it politically useful for a range of different projects by both African and Western political actors. Ultimately, the chapter concludes that in the context of Africa’s international relations with the West, there is, in fact, little that is new about R2P and, moreover, what is new is in fact more dangerous than beneficial.

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