R2P: From Slogan to an International Ethical Norm

Ercan P. G.

ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER-INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS, vol.11, no.43, pp.35-52, 2014 (SSCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 43
  • Publication Date: 2014
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.35-52
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Following the report of the ICISS in 2001, unanimous adoption of the concept of the responsibility to protect (R2P) in 2005 marked the milestone of a common understanding for responding to mass atrocities. In light of the transformations that R2P has gone through, while some in the mounting literature have been arguing that R2P is a developing legal norm, others have grown more critical of the concept. In the absence of a consensus regarding R2P's status, this article contributes to the literature by arguing that, rather than remaining a slogan or becoming a legal norm, R2P has evolved into an international ethical norm which constitutes a standard for appropriate behaviour for states individually and for the international community collectively. To this end, by distinguishing between the stages of the norm's construction and institutionalisation, the article traces R2P's evolution process and presents an up-to-date analysis in light of the most recent cases as well as the documents adopted within the UN.