From norm entrepreneur to ‘part of the problem’
France and the emergence of the responsibility to protect (2000–2004)
in France, humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect
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This chapter investigates whether France played a role in the emergence of the responsibility to protect and whether the international concept impacted it in any way. It explains that even though Chirac’s various executives continued to promote the importance of human protection, and in particular the idea that because of its history, values and rank, France had a special role to play, France did not take part in the emergence of R2P. The chapter argues that France was excluded from the discussions on R2P after the international community deemed its conception and practice of human protection to be controversial and outdated. It then analyses France’s ongoing commitment to human protection despite its exclusion from the negotiating table. During the lead-up to the Iraq war, France showed that it was willing to to defend its conception of human protection and that its voice still mattered. Additionally, Chirac’s various executives remained committed to intervene militarily for humanitarian purposes and thus continued to contribute to shaping the way the international community practised human protection.


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