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The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and Côte d’Ivoire


Monica Serrano

Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, US; El Colegio de México, MX; Oxford University, GB
About Monica
Monica Serrano is the Executive Director. She is Professor of International Relations and a Senior Research Associate at the Centre for International Studies. After gaining her D. Phil from Oxford, she was a Research Fellow and Honorary Fellow at the Institute of Latin American Studies, University of London, a Research Associate at the IISS, and a MacArthur Research Fellow at Oxford University's Centre for International Studies. She has written extensively on international security, and the international relations of Latin America, with particular reference to international institutions, security, transnational crime and civil-military relations. Dr. Serrano is the author and editor of numerous publications including The Human Rights Regime in the Americas: Theory and Reality (United Nations University, 2010), Regionalism and Governance in the Americas: Continental Drift (Palgrave, 2005), and Transnational Organised Crime and International Security: Business as Usual? (Lynne Rienner, 2002).
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Over the course of four weeks the UN Security Council adopted a number of resolutions that evoked or explicitly referred to the Responsibility to Protect. In both Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, the R2P was a key ingredient in the decision by the Security Council to respond in a 'timely and decisive' manner to the spectre and evidence of mass atrocities. However, the difficulties faced in terms of anticipating, preventing and opening up the range of policy options available to the international community of states have made abundantly clear the need to further develop R2P as a policy tool. This article examines the problems of action faced when enforcing the Responsibility to Protect, the complications that arise when launching a military operation framed by the narrow goal of protecting civilians and the possible need to broaden the scope of authority for more forceful action when argumentation and persuasion prove insufficient.

How to Cite: Serrano, M., 2011. The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and Côte d’Ivoire. Amsterdam Law Forum, 3(3), pp.92–101. DOI:
Published on 01 Jun 2011.


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