Valdai Paper #74: Great Power Interventions and the Future of Responsibility to Protect


It may often seem that a whole epoch has passed since the Kosovo Commission’s oft-cited conclusion that the NATO intervention into Yugoslavia in 1999 was “illegal, but legitimate”. In the past 17 years there have been multiple instances of great power military interventions of various scale and type, running in parallel to conceptual developments of the age-old “just war theory” and humanitarian interventions doctrine – institutionalized in the form of “Responsibility to Protect”(R2P) concept.

Over the past decades, there have been multiple instances of great power military interventions justified by the “responsibility to protect”. However, in some parts of the world it was considered to be a policy of “double standards” in pursuit of geopolitical goals.

In most cases global community attempts to intervene turned out to be ineffective. One of the reason is that the “responsibility to protect” often is in conflict with “state sovereignty”. Therefore, it is essential to take a complex approach to both international cooperation and crisis management. This is the only way to overcome contradictions and thus combat crimes against humanity, contain violence, and prevent political crises.

Hovhannes Nikoghosyan, author of the Valdai Paper #74, fills the gap of critical understanding of the evolution of great power interventions in light of R2P emergence and development as a political concept.


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