Responsibility to Protect: United Nations in action or United Nations inaction? - the Sri Lankan case

Gençer, Nilay
This thesis investigates the United Nations (UN) inaction at the end of the Sri Lankan civil war within the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) framework. It aims to understand international inaction in Sri Lanka in terms of the transformation of the discourse of responsible sovereignty and R2P from its emergence in 2001 to unanimous adoption in 2005. Contrary to critics who claim that the doctrine is a new interventionist norm and proponents who argue that R2P gets us closer to ending mass atrocities once and for all, this study argues that understanding non-intervention cases like Sri Lanka is crucial to examine R2P’s efficacy. To this end, the thesis discusses the emergence and development of the doctrine through conceptual transformations of sovereignty and practical experiences drawn from humanitarian intervention in the 1990s. The inaction of the UN in Sri Lanka as a failure of R2P is discussed through themes of dysfunctionality, pathology, and indifference of international organizations.


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Citation Formats
N. Gençer, “Responsibility to Protect: United Nations in action or United Nations inaction? - the Sri Lankan case,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2021.