The Next Security and International Relations Seminar will take place on Thursday 26th January @ 18:00 in the Westminster Forum (Fifth Floor, 32-38 Wells Street). Details below...
'A Moral Responsibility in a Morally Bankrupt World: A Critical Re-Assessment of the Responsibility to Protect'.
Dr. Adrian M. Gallagher,
In a world full of competing legal, moral, and political claims the international consensus that underpinned the endorsement of the Responsibility to Protect in 2005 may be seen as a remarkable feat. For advocates, it represents a significant civilizing step in the history of international society. A moral milestone, if you will, to be placed alongside the greatest international normative developments of the 20th century. However, in a radical departure from this perspective, the paper asks us to consider what sort of world do we live in when we need the R2P in the first place? Prior to advocating or criticising the terms of the R2P, let us pause to consider the fact that we, as human beings, needed state elites to agree that they have a responsibility not to commit genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and ethnic cleansing. What sort of world do we live in when we need an international deliberation on this issue in the first place? In short, does the international consensus forged represent moral progress or moral bankruptcy? This paper sets out to raise these questions and analyse them through an English School engagement with the work of critical theorists.
Brief bio: Dr Gallagher completed an ESRC funded Ph.D, 'Genocide and Its Threat to International Society' at the University of Sheffield in December 2010. Broadly speaking, his research interests lie in IR theory (especially the English School), Genocide and Mass Violence, Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect, and Human Rights. He is currently working as a Teaching Fellow at the University of Leicester where he oversees an MA on 'The Politics of Human Rights'. This preliminary paper stems from post-doctoral research started in mid-2011 which acts as part of a five year research plan on 'Genocide and the [Never-Ending] Search for the Moral Foundations of International Society'. This forms the basis of a British Academy Post-Doctoral Proposal which is currently under-review.