France, humanitarian intervention and the responsibility to protect

France has been a central actor in human protection, yet the existing literature has too often focused on Anglo-Saxon states or states that are wary of its development. In order to address this gap, this book provides an original and much-needed account of France’s relationship to human protection since the 1980s. It analyses a ‘tale of two norms’ using an innovative theoretical framework: The first is ‘France’s domestic norm of human protection’, and the second is the dominant international principle or norm of human protection at the time (chiefly humanitarian intervention in the 1990s and the responsibility to protect (R2P) in the 2000s). Through this ‘tale of two norms’, and also thanks to interviews with key actors such as Gareth Evans and Bernard Kouchner and analysis of fourteen case studies, the book reshapes our understanding of the development and influence of key principles and norms of human protection. It also corrects prevailing assumptions about France’s foreign policy and allows us to anticipate its future foreign policy more accurately. Last but not least, by showing how important it is to pay more attention to the interplay between domestic and international norms and building an innovative framework that can be used beyond the analysis of France and human protection, the book makes a key contribution to the literature on norms and International Relations theory more generally. The book is therefore an essential read for anyone interested in human protection, peace studies, France, foreign policy analysis, International Relations and norm diffusion.

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