Summarize and compare the following two texts:
– Williams, Abiodun. 2017. “The Responsibility to Protect and Institutional Change.”
– Autesserre, Séverine . 2019. The Crisis of Peacekeeping. Why the UN Can’t End Wars. Foreign Affairs, January/February 2019.
Identify the core argument / conclusion for each text and some supporting ideas/facts/examples used to back it up.
Structure your paper in four parts:
1) Williams summary (300-400)
2) Autesserre summary (300-400)
3) Comparative analysis (200-300): identify common and unique elements
4) Conclusion (200-300): What do you take away from reading these two texts? What issues emerge as critical in your view? What questions do you have? What solutions do you suggest?
Length: 1000 to max 1500 words. The two summaries will likely take up a bit more than half of the length, sections 3 & 4 are probably a bit shorter.
Feel free to allocate your word allowance as you see fit.
As with the first essay, follow the same guidelines:
– Put your name at the top of the page.
– Note word count in the upper right corner of the page.
– Try to stick to the word count. If you end up above it, edit it down: delete, rephrase, condense, consolidate. It will make your writing better.
– Put the full bibliographical reference at the top of each summary.
Style:
– Clearly organize your argument, avoid repetition.
– Avoid statements like “I agree with the author” without explaining why.
– Generally avoid fillers like “I think” “I believe”. This is your analysis; it is understood that what you write is your take on these readings.
Citations:
Use direct quotes very sparingly and generally paraphrase in your own words. When you use a direct quote, reference it with page number. Such as: Nye concludes that “the open international system has served the United States well.” (p. 2).
Grading: You will be graded
– on your ability to succinctly identify key issues addressed by the two authors,
– on your ability to bring out common themes and differences in your final analysis,
– on organization, clarity of writing, and grammar (Have someone read through your work particularly if you are not a native speaker!)THE GLOBAL FORUM

The Responsibility to Protect
and Institutional Change


Abiodun Williams

IT IS INDISPUTABLE THAT PREVENTING AND HALTING ATROCITY CRIMES IS AN ES-
pecially urgent imperative in our times. Whether we consider the catastrophic
civil war in Syria or the ongoing conflicts in Central Africa, even the most cur-
sory glance at the news headlines reveals that concerted action is needed to en-
trench an intolerance of atrocity crimes. Progress has been made over the past
few years in making national and international policy instruments fit for pur-
pose when it comes to preventing genocide and other mass atrocities against
civilians. More fundamentally, no longer are heinous crimes against civilians
dismissed as the inevitable, if tragic, consequences of conflict. In this brief
essay, I explain why the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is significant, argue
that it highlights the dynamic relationship between normative and institutional
change, and enumerate the main obstacles to a consensus on the operational-
ization of R2P. Although there have been major setbacks since 2005, R2P’s
overall impact has been positive and claims that “R2P is dead” are premature.

The Significance of the Responsibility to Protect
At the 2005 World Summit, all UN member states unanimously accepted their
Responsibility to Protect their own populations from four types of mass atroc-
ity crimes: genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against human-
ity. They also expressed their readiness to take collective action, in a timely
and decisive manner, through the Security Council, when peaceful means are
inadequate and national authorities manifestly fail to protect their own popu-
lations.1 State sovereignty was no longer viewed as an absolute value. There
was a recognition that sovereignty implies responsibilities as well as powers,
and that the purpose of state sovereignty is to protect citizens and therefore it
cannot be accepted as a pretext for denying them protection.

R2P provided a political response to the political impasse of the 1990s,
highlighted by the ideological divide between the Global North and Global
South on whether and how to respond collectively to mass atrocities. The
Canadian-sponsored International Commission on Intervention and State Sov-
ereignty (ICISS) developed the concept of R2P in 2001, and introduced a

537

Global Governance 23 (2017), 537–544

framework with three responsibilities that follow the main stages of the con-
flict curve: the responsibility to prevent deadly conflict and other forms of
man-made catastrophes; the responsibility to react to situations of compelling
need of human protection; and the responsibility to rebuild durable peace.2
R2P reflected the “Annan doctrine”: that state sovereignty cannot be used as
an excuse to shield atrocity crimes.3

In the decade since its adoption by the UN General Assembly, consider-
able progress has been made in the conceptualization and implementation of
R2P.4 R2PReading Essay 2: Due on Tuesday of week 4, Oct. 27, 2020, 2pm (10%)
Summarize and compare the following two texts:
– Williams, Abiodun. 2017. “The Responsibility to Protect and Institutional Change.”
– Autesserre, Séverine . 2019. The Crisis of Peacekeeping. Why the UN Can’t End Wars. Foreign Affairs,
January/February 2019.
Identify the core argument / conclusion for each text and some supporting ideas/facts/examples used to
back it up.

Structure your paper in four parts:
1) Williams summary (300-400)
2) Autesserre summary (300-400)
3) Comparative analysis (200-300): identify common and unique elements
4) Conclusion (200-300): What do you take away from reading these two texts? What issues emerge as
critical in your view? What questions do you have? What solutions do you suggest?
Length: 1000 to max 1500 words. The two summaries will likely take up a bit more than half of the
length, sections 3 & 4 are probably a bit shorter.
Feel free to allocate your word allowance as you see fit.

As with the first essay, follow the same guidelines:
– Put your name at the top of the page.
– Note word count in the upper right corner of the page.
– Try to stick to the word count. If you end up above it, edit it down: delete, rephrase, condense, consolidate. It will
make your writing better.
– Put the full bibliographical reference at the top of each summary.

Style:
– Clearly organize your argument, avoid repetition.
– Avoid statements like “I agree with the author” without explaining why.
– Generally avoid fillers like “I think” “I believe”. This is your analysis; it is understood that what you write is your
take on these readings.

Citations:
Use direct quotes very sparingly and generally paraphrase in your own words. When you use a direct quote,
reference it with page number. Such as: Nye concludes that “the open international system has served the United
States well.” (p. 2).

Grading: You will be graded
– on your ability to succinctly identify key issues addressed by the two authors,
– on your ability to bring out common themes and differences in your final analysis,
– on organization, clarity of writing, and grammar (Have someone read through your work particularly if you are
not a native speaker!)

NOTE: while the TA and I are happy to discuss questions during office hours, we are unfortunately not able to read
and comment on draft papers.

Academic integrity: Materials submitted to fulfill academic requirements must represent a student’s own efforts.
Plagiarism or letting someone else write your work is a serious offense. We may run the essays through a
plagiarism detection program. Students may be asked to come discuss their essay with me or the TA.SÉVERINE AUTESSERRE is Professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia
University, and the author of Peaceland and the forthcoming On the Frontlines of Peace.

January/February 2019 101

The Crisis of Peacekeeping
Why the UN Can’t End Wars

Séverine Autesserre

In nearly 50 con¹ict zones around the world, some one and a half billion people live under the threat of violence. In many of these places, the primary enforcers of order are not police o–cers or
government soldiers but the blue-helmeted troops of the United
Nations. With more than 78,000 soldiers and 25,000 civilians scattered
across 14 countries, UN peacekeepers make up the second-largest mili-
tary force deployed abroad, after the U.S. military.

The ambition of their task is immense. From Haiti to Mali, from
Kosovo to South Sudan, UN peacekeepers are invited into war-torn
countries and charged with maintaining peace and security. In most
cases, that means nothing less than transforming states and societies.
Peacekeepers set out to protect civilians, train police forces, disarm
militias, monitor human rights abuses, organize elections, provide
emergency relief, rebuild court systems, inspect prisons, and promote
gender equality. And they attempt all of that in places where enduring
chaos has de¼ed easy solution; otherwise, they wouldn’t be there to
begin with.

Unfortunately, this endeavor has a spotty track record. Global
leaders continue to call on “the blue helmets” as the go-to solution
whenever violence ¹ares in the developing world. U.S. President
Barack Obama praised UN peacekeeping as “one of the world’s most
important tools to address armed con¹ict,” and the UN itself claims
that it has “helped end con¹icts and foster reconciliation by conduct-
ing successful peacekeeping operations in dozens of countries.” But
in fact, UN peacekeepers too often fail to meet their most basic objec-
tives. On many deployments, they end up watching helplessly while
war rages. On others, they organize elections and declare victory, but

JF_19_Book.indb 101 11/16/18 7:10 PM

Return to Table of Contents

Séverine Autesserre

102 F O R E I G N A F FA I R S

without having ¼xed the root causes that brought them there—making
it all too likely that ¼ghting will ¹are again before long.

Part of the reason for this failure is a lack of resources. It is hard to
fault the UN for that, since it relies on contributions from its members.
The larger problem, however, is a fundamental misunderstanding
about what makes for a sustained peace. The UN’s strategy favors
top-down deals struck with elites and ¼xates on elections. But that
neglects what should be the other main component of their approach:
embracing bottom-up strategies that draw on local knowledge and
letting the people themselves determine how best to promote peace.

THE RISE OF THE BLUE HELMETS
When the UN was created, in 1945, it was never intended to have its
own ¼ghting force; the UN Charter makes




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