Methodology discussion summary

Methodology Discussion
Project Details:
In 2001, the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) doctrine was presented to, and subsequently endorsed by, the UNSC and its member-states. The general premise of the RtoP doctrine is that sovereign nations bear the responsibility for the protection of its citizens from atrocities such as genocide, mass murder, ethnic cleansing and other human rights violations (Officials Endorse 2006). If a country cannot, or will not, prevent or intervene in internal conflicts involving human rights violations, it is argued that the international community has a responsibility to act, on a case by case basis, in the defense of the societies ordinary civilians (Officials Endorse 2006).
There are limitations to RtoPs implementation and enforcement, most specifically when providing such intervention in the domestic affairs of sovereign states with the use of military force. The UN Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide has stated that sovereignty no longer exclusively protects States from foreign interference; it is a charge of responsibility where States are accountable for the welfare of their people ( 2016). This argument has merit both morally and ethically, but the issue with international rules governing third party interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states remains. Nevertheless, while it is true that third party intervention in the affairs of sovereign nation-states presents a significant legal issue that must be addressed before moving forward with the implementation and enforcement of so noble a concept, it is possible that ethical and moral arguments concerning the states responsibility to protect its citizenry from unnecessary violence may provide some form of legitimacy for actions taken in defense of vulnerable groups (Basaran 2014; Doyle 2011; Badescu 2007; Bellamy 2009).
The other side of the argument is that if RtoP were to become international law, the intervention in such situations presents a larger moral hazard in that intervention may provide a false sense of security to those who find themselves in hazardous situations (Kuperman 2008; Ruachhaus 2009). Likewise, those who seek to obtain power or wrest control of a state from the legitimate governmental body, may escalate the violence of their attacks against civilians or governmental bodies in order to prompt a third party to intervene on their behalf (Kuperman 2008). In this case, humanitarian intervention or the enforcement of RtoP may backfire through the escalation of violence, particularly by non-state actors, against vulnerable groups, as well as, rewarding the rebel groups with their desired end-state (Kuperman 2008).
Dependent and Independent Variables:
To apply the data collected, the dependent variable was identified as action or inaction due to will of the international community. That is to say that state interests are influenced by the will of the international community concerning the adoption and enforcement of RtoP. Without providing a significant impetus for affecting change to the dependent variable, it was hypothesized that the state would only intervene if there was a substantial political, economic or strategic gain for the state in question regardless of the issues concerning the legalities of enforcement, the ethical and moral responsibility of the international community, or the potential moral hazards of intervention. Likewise, intergovernmental agencies such as the UN and EU are products of their member-states and may only seek to intervene if there is some reward to be gained for one or more of its members.
There were a variety of possible noteworthy independent variables that could possibly trigger a change in international policy and law governing the enforcement of RtoP. Some of these variables include arguments for: increased regional and state security, possible sanctions should the state not acquiesce to the will of the international community; and, the value of civilians in regional and global economic sectors. Each possible independent variable will be examined for its viability.
Theoretical Framework Synopsis:
As states are typically seen as self-interested actors when navigating through the international community, the constructivist theory, as argued by Alexander Wendt (1994 and 2004), was applied to the information gathered in an attempt to make the case that even though states may be reluctant to intervene in situations involving wide-scale human rights violations, societal pressure from other states may ensure the will of the international community is realized.
Hypothesis #1: The enforcement of RtoP is not currently legal, but may be considered legitimate in cases involving the will of the international community.
Hypothesis #2: The legal enforcement of RtoP will lead to potential moral hazards that should be avoided regardless of the will of the international community.
Information and case studies were collected for this paper from a number of scholarly and peer-reviewed sources, texts written and edited by international relations scholars, as well as, a collection of official intergovernmental websites concerning the creation and possible implementation and enforcement of the RtoP doctrine. Documents found and featured in this paper from the United Nations website include papers and speeches written by senior UN appointees such as the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Each of the peer-reviewed journal articles, as well as, the data obtained from official intergovernmental websites and published works concerning third party intervention with the use of military or civilian police forces were subjected to a qualitative analysis to identify and analyze the possible explanations states may have for deciding that intervention on behalf of the most vulnerable poses not only legal problems concerning state sovereignty. For example, I wanted to know if there was a legitimate argument for intervention, would states buckle under the will of the international community and take action. I also wanted to know if the moral hazards for providing a legal standard for the enforcement of RtoP were enough to warrant nonintervention in situations concerning large-scale human rights violations such as genocide and ethnic cleansing as described under the RtoP doctrine regardless of the will of the international community.
There are several possible scenarios that prevent states from adopting and enforcing the RtoP doctrine. This paper first discusses the legal enforcement of RtoP with an emphasis on the limitations imposed on the doctrine by rules and laws governing state sovereignty. Then, an argument concerning the illegal, but possibly legitimate enforcement of RtoP in situations involving wide-scale human rights violations, is juxtaposed with the potential moral hazards posed from third party intervention.
Each argument will be discussed and expanded upon with information provided from peer and scholarly reviewed articles. In order to accomplish this task, I have supplemented the data provided concerning the background of RtoP and the limitations state sovereignty places on the doctrines enforcement, the illegal but possibly legitimate third party intervention and the legal but morally hazardous positions on intervention with a variety of other empirical sources such as: historical data from the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia and Somalia; past attempts and failures of the international community concerning intervention strategies and outcomes in humanitarian operations; situations in which insurgents and/or other antagonists have reaped rewards thanks to ill-advised third party intervention; and, the possible ramifications to regional and global security should a state fail due to the international communitys delay or inaction in humanitarian crisis situations.
Badescu, Christine G. 2007. Authorizing Humanitarian Intervention: Hard Choices in Saving Strangers. Canadian Journal of Political Science / Revue Canadienne De Science Colitique 40, no. 1 (March): 51-78.
Basaran, Halil Rahman, LLM. 2014. Identifying the Responsibility to Protect. The Fletcher Forum of World Affairs 38, no. 1 (Winter): 195-212.
Bellamy, Alex J. 2009. Realizing the Responsibility to Protect. International Studies Perspectives 10: 111-128.
Doyle, Michael W. 2011 International Ethics and the Responsibility to Protect. International Studies Review 13, no. 1: 72-84.
Kuperman, Alan J. 2008. The Moral Hazard of Humanitarian Intervention: Lessons from the Balkans. International Studies Quarterly 53, no. 1 (March): 49-80.
Officials Endorse. 2006. U.S. Officials Endorse \”Responsibility to Protect\” through Security Council Action. The American Journal of International Law, 100, No. 2 (April): 463-464.
Raucchaus, Robert W. 2009. Principle-Agent Problems in Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Hazards, Adverse Selection, and the Commitment Dilemma. International Studies Quarterly 53, no. 4 (December): 871-894. The Responsibility to Protect. Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide. Accessed September 09, 2016.
Wendt, Alexander. 1994. \”Collective Identity Formation and the International State.\” The American Political Science Review 88, no. 2 (June): 384-396.
Wendt, Alexander. 2004. \”The State as a Person in International Theory.\” Review of International Studies 30, no. 2 (April) : 289-316.