Alex J. Bellamy's research while affiliated with The University of Queensland and other places

Publications (142)

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This piece examines the place of the use of force in R2P. It shows that a sceptical view about the use of force to protect populations, a view guided by the seemingly ‘endless wars’ of the global ‘war on terror’ and the troubled legacy of intervention in Libya, has become predominant. The principle’s earliest advocates went to considerable lengths...
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The problem of war has always haunted international politics and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. For as long as there has been war, however, there have been debates about its legitimacy, and attempts to constrain it with moral and legal rules. How and why these rules developed, whether and how they are changing, the effects they...
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This chapter charts the debate between those who believe that the protection of civilians from genocide and mass atrocities ought to trump the principle of non-intervention in certain circumstances and those who oppose this proposition. This has become a particular problem in the post-Cold War world where atrocities in places like Rwanda, Bosnia, a...
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The United Nations was established to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’. Limited by great power politics and influenced by some key innovators, the UN’s approach to peacemaking developed as a series of ad hoc responses to pressing issues. It has been subject to the shifting sands of political interests but also to the bitter les...
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This chapter examines the past two decades of thought and practice on R2P. It demonstrates that whilst there have been significant ideational, political and operational shifts during that time, significant challenges remain, and it offers a reminder that because R2P is a practical norm—a principle embedded in world politics itself, not university t...
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The prevention of atrocity crimes is the cornerstone of R2P. Yet, how prevention works in practice is little understood. In practice, multiple actors at different levels employ multiple prevention tools simultaneously which relate to, and impact upon, the regional, national and local contexts in which atrocity crime risk is evident. Strengthening p...
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The Syrian civil war stands as the most serious failure of the responsibility to prevent since the adoption of R2P in 2005. As the war has continued, there have been atrocities and abuse committed against vulnerable populations on a widespread and systematic scale. This article focuses on the atrocity prevention efforts undertaken in the first phas...
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Atrocity prevention is a difficult and complex undertaking, one that needs concerted effort by multiple stakeholders to be successful. This article seeks to help bridge the acknowledged gap between the promise of atrocity prevention and its implementation by providing an introduction about lessons learned from various case studies. By doing so, it...
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In the popular imagination––and often in the scholarly imagination too––war is understood in Clausewitzian terms, as a struggle for supremacy. It is a struggle that, when unencumbered by material or normative counterweights, tends to escalate towards the extreme as each side tries to impose its will on the other. In that context, the notion that tw...
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This is a wonderful book. Expanding on the themes first raised in her 2018 series of Reith Lectures for the BBC, renowned historian Margaret MacMillan offers a thoughtful and compelling account of why war matters and why it still demands to be studied. Combining fine prose with an impressive range of historical examples ranging as far back as the C...
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The protection of civilians has become the principal issue on which UN peacekeeping missions are judged, but its principles and methods require refinement.
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Genocide Perspectives VI grapples with two core themes: the personal toll of genocide, and processes that facilitate the crime. From political choices governments and leaders make, through to denialism and impunity, the crime of genocide recurs again and again, across the globe. At what cost to individuals and communities? What might the legacy of...
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Introduction: Taking World Peace Seriously - Volume 34 Issue 1 - Alex J. Bellamy
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For as long as humans have fought wars, we have been beguiled and frustrated by the prospect of world peace. Only a very few of us today believe that world peace is possible. Indeed, the very mention of the term “world peace” raises incredulity. In contrast, as part of the roundtable “World Peace (And How We Can Achieve It),” this essay makes the c...
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Miliary intervention remains a controversial part of human protection. Indispensable in some circumstances, military intervention confronts significant structural challenges which means that it is used only rarely and has the propensity for causing unintended negative consequences. In this essay, we examine the place of humanitarian intervention wi...
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This chapter examines the implications of humanitarian intervention for international security. It considers the debate between those who argue that the protection of civilians from genocide and mass atrocities is far more important than the principle of non-intervention in certain circumstances and those who oppose this proposition. This has becom...
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For all the progress that was made in building barriers against genocide – and we should not shy away from acknowledging that significant progress was indeed made – we find ourselves facing a major problem. History is taking its revenge. Since the start of the ‘Arab Spring’ in early 2011, global trends in mass violence have moved consistently in th...
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Human Rights and War Through Civilian Eyes. By Thomas W. Smith. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. 272p. $59.95 cloth. - Volume 16 Issue 1 - Alex J. Bellamy
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This chapter examines the pursuit of criminal justice for atrocity crimes from the perspective of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) with the aim of understanding the complex relationship between them. It does so in four parts. The first provides a general background to the emergence of R2P as an international norm. The second section examines the...
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This article examines the role that groups played in the rise of Responsibility to Protect (R2P) within the United Nations (un) system. It focuses in particular on the role of informal groups of states in advancing a consensus on R2P, contrasting their role with that of formal regional and political groups, which - with the exception of the African...
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Over the past two decades, there has been a significant shift in international expectations with respect to how the UN Security Council ought to respond to mass atrocities. Developments such as Responsibility to Protect (R2P), the ‘protection of civilians’, and international criminal justice have helped establish a new international regime for huma...
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The Role of Business in the Responsibility to Protect closes the gap between research on the Responsibility to Protect and the private sector, as previous research has focused only on state responsibilities and state actors. This book examines in detail the developing research on the significant role that private sector actors can play in promoting...
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Drawing upon talks delivered at the Second Global Action Against Mass Atrocity Crimes conference, held in Manila 2016, this paper examines the extent to which the Asia Pacific region has begun to translate its commitment to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) into practice. It finds that the so-called “East Asian Peace” has transformed the region f...
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Over the past few decades, genocidal killing and other mass atrocities have become less frequent and less lethal. At the same time, collective international responses have become more common and more comprehensive. What explains these two phenomena, and are they connected? This article suggests that the evidence of declining mass violence and growi...
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United Nations peace operations are deployed in greater numbers to more difficult operating theatres in response to more complex conflict situations than ever before. More than 100,000 UN peacekeepers are deployed in missions mandated under Chapter VII of the UN Charter to use ‘all necessary means’ to protect civilians from direct harm as well as t...
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This essay examines contemporary debates about human protection by the UN Security Council and others in response to major humanitarian crises. It argues that there are clear signs of an emerging international human protection regime in the evolving practice of the Security Council and suggests that this regime is based on an accommodation between...
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In the two-and-a-half decades since the end of the Cold War, policy makers have become acutely aware of the extent to which the world today faces mass atrocities. In an effort to prevent the death, destruction and global chaos wrought by these crimes, the agendas for both national and international policy have grown beyond conflict prevention to en...
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Ten years since its adoption by the UN General Assembly, the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) has become an established international norm associated with positive changes to the way that international society responds to genocide and mass atrocities. In its first decade, RtoP has moved from being a controversial and indeterminate concept seldom ut...
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To date, little attention has been paid to the question of how episodes of mass killing are terminated. This has allowed several misconceptions, such as the notion that external armed intervention is a principal form of ending, to arise and profit. This study presents preliminary findings from a survey of cases of state perpetrated mass killing sin...
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The Democratic Peoples' Republic of Korea (DPRK) is arguably the world's most chronic abuser of human rights. In an unprecedented move, a Commission of Inquiry established by the UN's Human Rights Council accused the DPRK government of systematic violations of human rights amounting to crimes against humanity. In so doing, the Commission succeeded...
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This essay examines contemporary debates about human protection by the UN Security Council and others in response to major humanitarian crises. It argues that there are clear signs of an emerging international human protection regime in the evolving practice of the Security Council and suggests that this regime is based on an accommodation between...
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East Asia has a long history of genocide and mass atrocities. For much of the Cold War, East Asia was one of the world's most violent regions, experiencing multiple outbursts of mass killing. Since the end of the Cold War, however, the region has been transformed thanks to another Asian miracle. There are now fewer cases of genocide and mass atroci...
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International society’s failure to respond in a timely and decisive fashion to the crisis in Syria has been widely described as a failure of the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP). One of the principal explanations for this apparent failure was the political fallout from the NATO-led intervention in Libya. This article examines the proposition that f...
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In a recently published piece, Robert Pape makes some misleading and erroneous comments on my published work. First, Pape writes, “Alex Bellamy, a staunch advocate of R2P [the responsibility to protect initiative], catalogues episodes of mass atrocities to clarify ‘R2P’s preventive agenda,’ with a total of twenty-one qualifying for intervention fro...
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This article argues that the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) adds value to international efforts to protect populations from genocide and mass atrocities, but not in the ways commonly thought. It suggests that RtoP is not particularly effective as a 'rallying call' that mobilises action in cases where international society may be initially relucta...
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This article examines the challenges and opportunities for mainstreaming RtoP within the UN system and proposes a way forward. First, it examines what is meant by ‘mainstreaming’ in the UN context and progress made thus far. Second, it reviews some of the principal dilemmas that have arisen in different parts of the UN system, notably in relation t...
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The question of military intervention for humanitarian purposes is a major focus for international law, the United Nations, regional organizations such as NATO, and the foreign policies of nations. Against this background, the 2011 bombing in Libya by Western nations has occasioned renewed interest and concern about armed humanitarian intervention...
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This article reflects upon the UN General Assembly’s 2012 informal interactive dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), which was on the theme of ‘timely and decisive response’. It shows that although Member States recognize that ‘timely and decisive’ responses to genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity could som...
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The norm of civilian immunity, which holds that civilians must not be intentionally targeted in war or subjected to mass killing, is widely supported and considered a jus cogens principle of international law. Yet not only does mass killing remain a recurrent feature of world politics, but perpetrators sometimes avoid criticism or punishment. This...
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Most cultural and legal codes agree that the intentional killing of civilians, whether in peacetime or war, is prohibited. This is the norm of civilian immunity, widely considered to be a fundamental moral and legal principle. Yet despite this fact, the deliberate killing of large numbers of civilians remains a persistent feature of global politica...
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Advocates of moral hazard theory argue that the ‘responsibility to protect’ causes genocidal violence that would not otherwise occur. After summarizing the main elements of the moral hazard approach, this article demonstrates that there is no empirical evidence to support the general claim that the ‘responsibility to protect’ is a remote cause of g...
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Introduction 1. Bridging the East-West divide: the Helsinki Final Act negotiations 2. 'A sort of lifeline': the Helsinki Commission 3. Even in a Yakutian village: Helsinki monitoring in Moscow and beyond 4. Follow-up at Belgrade: the United States transforms the Helsinki process 5. Helsinki watch, the IHF, and the transnational campaign for human r...
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How do the perpetrators of mass killing legitimise their behaviour? This article examines the legitimation of some of the worst cases of mass killing in the past two centuries. It finds that the colonial experience helped establish a moral framework that facilitated arguments designed to place whole groups beyond normal legal and moral protection o...
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This article examines the UN mission in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) by applying the framework set out by Paul Diehl and Dan Druckman. It does so in two main parts. The first describes the course and direction of UNOCI until the end of 2011. The second applies elements of the Diehl-Druckman framework to evaluate UNOCI. It argues that two particular issues...
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The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) played an important role in shaping the world's response to actual and threatened atrocities in Libya. Not least, the adoption of Resolution 1973 by the UN Security Council on May 17, 2011, approving a no-fly zone over Libya and calling for “all necessary measures” to protect civilians, reflected a change in the...
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In March 2011, the UN Security Council authorized the use of force to protect civilians in Libya. This was the first time that the Council has ever authorized the invasion of a functioning state for such purposes. International society's relatively decisive responses to recent crises in Côte d'Ivoire and Libya has provoked significant commentary, s...
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The responsibility to protect (R2P) comprises each state's responsibility to protect its own populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, the international community's duty to assist states in this endeavour, and a responsibility for the international community to take timely and decisive action in situations...
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The ‘Responsibility to Protect’ (RtoP) principle represents a commitment to prevent and halt mass atrocity crimes. However, in his 2009 report on implementing the RtoP, the UN Secretary-General noted that more work was needed to understand the measures that states might take to exercise their RtoP. Given that UN peace operations are now customarily...
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This book provides an in-depth introduction to, and analysis of, the issues relating to the implementation of the recent Responsibility to Protect principle in international relations The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) has come a long way in a short space of time. It was endorsed by the General Assembly of the UN in 2005, and unanimously reaffirm...
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This article explores how relevant the “Responsibility to Protect” (RtoP) principle is in Southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is usually thought of as a region that is highly resistant to external “interference” in its domestic affairs and relatively impervious to the influence of externally generated norms. The article explores the potential relevance...
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It is widely recognised that the Responsibility to Protect (RtoP), adopted by heads of state and government in 2005, is an important new international principle. Australia has been one of the principle's most significant contributors, with prominent Australians and governments from both sides of politics contributing to its development, emergence,...
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The Responsibility to Protect (RtoP) has become a prominent feature in international debates about preventing and responding to genocide and mass atrocities. Since its adoption in 2005, it has been discussed in relation to a dozen major crises and been the subject of discussion at the UN Security Council and General Assembly. This article takes sto...
Chapter
There is broad agreement nowadays that the international community has a responsibility to help states and societies rebuild after war. One of the main reasons for this is that peacebuilding after violent conflict tends not to arouse the same sorts of concerns about interference in sovereign affairs that preventive action prior to conflict and reac...
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In 2005, governments around the world unanimously agreed to the principle of the responsibility to protect (R2P), which holds that all states have a responsibility to protect their populations from genocide and mass atrocities, that the international community should assist them to fulfil this duty, and that the international community should take...
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James Turner Johnson has played a pivotal role in bringing just war thinking to the fore in international relations. This has brought with it increased interest in the relationship between the just war tradition and the laws of war. Whilst Johnson maintains that the legal rules relating to the conduct of war correspond with the requirements of jus...
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Terrorism and torture are twin evils that have dominated news headlines - particularly since the horrifying events of 9/11. In this thought-provoking volume, scholars from a diverse range of disciplines examine the complex motivational and situational factors contributing to terrorist acts and state-sponsored torture, and the potential linkage betw...
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This article investigates the impact of NATO's 1999 intervention in Kosovo on the notion of sovereignty as responsibility. It argues that the intervention provided an important catalyst that brought to light a broad consensus about sovereignty as responsibility and highlighted areas in need of refining. International debate about the intervention b...
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Written prior to the release of the UN Secretary-General’s report on implementing the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), this article examines the effort to translate the principle from words into deeds. It begins by noting a post-2005 ‘‘revolt’’ against the principle in which a number of states expressed skepticism about the principle and its use in...
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In recent years, senior UN officials have raised concerns about the decline of Western contributions to UN peace operations. Although this is a worrying trend for supporters of the UN, it does not mean that the West is playing a smaller role in peace operations per se. Instead, the West has increased its contribution to `hybrid' peace operations an...
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Recent years have seen a growing interest in questions about justice after war (jus post bellum), fuelled in large part by moral questions about coalition operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a result, it has become common to argue that jus post bellum is a third strand of Just War thinking. This article evaluates this position. It argues that th...
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The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) has come a long way in a relatively short space of time. From inauspicious beginnings, the principle was endorsed by the General Assembly in 2005 and unanimously reaffirmed by the Security Council in 2006 (Resolution 1674). However, the principle remains hotly contested primarily because of its association with h...
Book
The terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001 marked a turning point in international politics, representing a new type of threat that could not easily be anticipated or prevented through state-based structures of security alone. Opening up interdisciplinary conversations between strategic, economic ethical and legal approaches to global terrorism, th...
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To what extent are political leaders entitled to violate embedded moral and legal rules in response to national emergencies? Do they have a duty to do so? This article assesses two prominent liberal approaches to this question. The ‘dirty hands’ thesis insists that there is a radical separation between private and public ethics and that the latter...
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Despite global trends towards military reform characterized by processes of professionalization and democratization, militaries in Southeast Asia have continued to play prominent roles in domestic politics since 11 September. This suggests that wider patterns of global military reform have not had as great an impact on the control, capacity and coo...
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The Healing of Nations: The Promise and Limits of Political Forgiveness. By Mark R. Amstutz. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2005, 296p. $79.00 cloth, $29.95 paper. International Governance of War-Torn Territories: Rule and Reconstruction. By Richard Caplan. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005, 304p. $99.00 cloth. In the late 1990s, the World...
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This article explores the different moral and legal arguments used by protagonists in the debate about whether or not to conduct a humanitarian intervention in Darfur. The first section briefly outlines four moral and legal positions on whether there is (and should be) a right and/or duty of humanitarian intervention: communitarianism, restrictioni...
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Is the use of torture ever justified? This article argues that torture cannot be justified, even in so called ticking bomb cases, but that in such extreme situations it may be necessary. In those situations, judgements about whether the use of torture is legitimate must balance the imminence and gravity of the threat with the need to prevent future...
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This article explores the question of whether the war on terror is just. It begins by arguing that the Just War tradition offers a better way of asking moral questions about war than either pacifism or realism. Applying the Just War tradition suggests that in order to justify a war on terrorism, we need to know exactly who the terrorists are and wh...
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What does the world's engagement with the unfolding crisis in Darfur tell us about the impact of the Iraq war on the norm of humanitarian intervention? Is a global consensus about a "responsibility to protect" more or less likely? There are at least three potential answers to these questions. Some argue that the merging of strategic interests and h...
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This article argues that since 2000 successive Croatian governments have shown themselves increasingly dedicated to reforming civil-military relations. However, their efforts have been hampered by four key obstacles. First, the need to implement defence reforms in the context of an unwieldy set of civil-military relationships, political and institu...

Citations

... "International affairs" is a general term for international affairs and inter state affairs, including political affairs in the traditional sense, public health, economy and trade, etc; In specific disciplines or professional fields, such as international relations, international trade, international business, international journalism and other disciplines, "international affairs" has different connotations. With the deepening of globalization, the political, economic and cultural exchanges between countries and regions are getting closer, so the international research in various professional fields is also expanding and overlapping [1]. In the past, "international affairs" usually referred to "international relations" in politics or "international management" in management, while "international affairs" in the sense of secretarial science was a relatively rare new concept. ...
... In particular, this research considers the extent to which militarised approaches have helped the mission achieve its political and protection objectives. In this way, it answers the call of Bellamy and Hunt (2021) who argue that more work needs to be done to identify unintended consequences of the use of force in peacekeeping settings and translate tactical gains into political progress. It also builds on the literature on stabilisation (eg Karlsrud 2015;Tull 2018;Hunt 2017;Curran and Hunt 2020), as ARTICLE HISTORY well as that which analyses the legal and operational effects of the FIB (Tull 2016;Piiparinen 2016). ...
... State fragility and failure gives rise to armed groups, increases actors committing violence and reduces the capacity of government [2][3][4]. Political institutions and social organizations experience a reduced accountability with respect to a Responsibility to Protect (R2P) [5,6]. The combined threats of conflict and disease hinder health security, democracy, economic growth, stability, human protection and peace. ...
... As Alex Bellamy explains, it is important to understand that 'the primary reason as to why some countries with relatively high levels of risk avoid such crimes typically rests within the country itself,' 19 meaning that local dynamics and initiatives are what matter most. That being, there are some tools available to the international community and a lot of progress has been achieved on three distinct areas: early warning, prevention and reaction. ...
... The coefficient for pooling is positive and statistically significant in all models, suggesting that when IOs allow for majority decision-making, state entrepreneurs (or other entrepreneurs that have to build support among member states) are more likely to be successful and the IO more likely to commit to a norm. A case in point is the UNGA's adoption of the 2005 resolution on R2P, in which state entrepreneurs built cross-regional coalitions that could ensure the required level of support, leading outstanding recalcitrant states to give in (Bellamy 2017). ...
... Oliver Richmond, en Maintaining Order, Making Peace (2002) y en "A genealogy of peace and conflict" (2010), desarrolla una introducción al debate contemporáneo sobre la paz y la construcción de paz a fin de describir la índole de cada una de las cuatro generaciones en dichos estudios y de determinar sus preocupaciones teórico-prácticas básicas 3 (Newman, 2013;Richmond, 2010;Selby, 2013). De acuerdo con Richmond, la primera generación de estudios sobre la paz estuvo fuertemente influenciada por la Carta de Naciones Unidas (Bellamy, 2010). Al entender el conflicto como una realidad biológica, esta generación empezó enfrentando el problema desde una perspectiva realista, pero terminó desarrollando "a limited state-centric discourse that excludes non state actors and ignores non-state-centric issues" (Richmond, 2010, p. 17). ...
... Faced with mounting challenges on multiple fronts, business as usual will not be sufficient." 38 The common theme from the multiple reviews of related UN work in 2015-2016, he underscored, was prevention. Fair enough, but the price of gaining the benefits of wider institutional visibility and greater conceptual coherence cannot be that atrocity prevention becomes just part of the bureaucratic checklist of other, more robust, institutional mandates. ...
... The same can be said with respect to a structural approach to international cooperation that would highlight the instrumental convergence of (national) interests based on material capacities (Posen 2006;Jones 2007;Rynning 2011; Hyde-Price 2012), discrediting EU-related cooperative projects as mere propaganda initiatives. In the analysis of inconsistencies of cooperative behavior, interesting insights can be borrowed from an important body of research originating in peace and conflict studies where similar questions are addressed in relation to UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding cooperation (Bellamy and Williams 2013;Kathman and Melin 2017;Bove, Ruffa, and Ruggeri 2020). 1 What we learn from these studies, when focusing either on different political or humanitarian objectives of actors involved (Campbell 2008;de Coning 2019) or on intra-agency coherence (De Coning and Friis 2011; Rietjens and Ruffa 2019), is that different structures, working and military cultures (Ruffa 2018) other than capacities among members, all have an impact on the way missions are implemented. However, with this work, I expect to shed light on how different types of cooperation among similar actors interact with each other rather than analyzing cooperation in terms of coherence and effectiveness. ...
... Therefore any state, according to realism, carries out activities based on its self-interest/national interest. As a result realism maintains that PSOs are conducted for self-interest within the framework of a state's national security interests (Bellamy and Williams, 2013). Badmus and Jenkins (2019) argued that the realist holds the international system as anarchic as a result states attempt to maximize their national interests. ...
... Humanitäre Intervention schien diskreditiert. Versuche der Bush-Administration, den Regimewechsel im Irak 2003 humanitär zu begründen, verstärkten die Bedenken (Bellamy 2013). Die internationale Politik schreckte vor weiteren Interventionen zurück, etwa in Darfur. ...