Vol.12, No.2 | [Article] The Libyan Crisis and Responsibility to Protect (R2P) in Question Focusing on the Applicability of the R2P Doctrine to the Intervention in Libya



This article examines the conceptual implications of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) through a case research on the crisis of Libya. Although the R2P doctrine has been highly valued as an emerging norm to drive international community to protect civilians from mass atrocities, the doctrine has also opened the door to the point at issue. That is, even though lauded as a typical case of how R2P should be applied in general, the effectiveness of intervention in Libya has faced growing attacks as the country is sliding back into civil war following the withdrawal of NATO-led coalition forces. As the security situation worsened right after NATO withdrew, thus, many have questioned the wisdom and effectiveness of the external intervention within the new framework of R2P. Reflecting on these points at issue, this article aims to question the context in which the R2P doctrine was applied to the case of Libyan crisis so as to search for the limits and challenges of the intervention of NATO-led coalition forces. By exploring the drawbacks of this intervention, this article asserts that two core elements of the R2P framework – the responsibilities to prevent and rebuild – have been to some extent ignored with putting more emphasis on the responsibility to react. For reviving and sustaining the utility of R2P, within this context, the article argues that a critical approach to R2P should be urging diverse actors of the international community to go beyond an armed response to mass atrocity crimes through emphasizing and practicing the core values of international responsibilities not only to prevent mass killings by fully pursuing peaceful resolutions but also to highlight the post-conflict peacebuilding in Libya.

Keyword : The Libyan Crisis, Humanitarian Intervention, Responsibility to Protect (R2P), International Community, NATO