March 5, 2013
The Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity
By Ayça Çubukçu, Assistant Professor in Human Rights, Department of Sociology, Centre for the Study of Human Rights, London School of Economics and Political Science and '07-'09 Postdoctoral Research Scholar, Committee on Global Thought, Columbia University
Ayça Çubukçu (2013), "Responsibility to Protect: Libya and the Problem of Transnational Solidarity," Journal of Human Rights, 12 (1): 40-58.
The first part of this article examines some of the legal, ethical, and political dimensions of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine by engaging with cosmopolitan proposals for its application to Libya before the international military action to enforce it was initiated in March 2011. It presents reflections of a historical kind on state sovereignty, international community, and the political theology of humanitarian intervention while assessing the nature of the moral imperative underpinning cosmopolitan assertions of responsibility to save lives in Libya. Considering the official recognition of the Transitional National Council by the enforcers of the Responsibility to Protect doctrine as the sole legitimate authority on Libyan territory, the second part of the article situates this act of recognition within a history of colonial practices that include the legal mechanism of "the protectorate." It also discusses the prominence of imperial affects in the Responsibility to Protect doctrine. The third part of the article evaluates disagreements among certain anti-imperialist commentators over the desirability of a military intervention in Libya in order to reflect on the politics of transnational solidarity from an angle that may present itself as an alternative to the Responsibility to Protect framework. While calling for a renewed critique of violence, the article concludes with an examination of telling difficulties that afflict attempts to differentiate acts of "foreign intervention" from acts of "transnational solidarity."
Click here for the full article in PDF - Taylor and Francis Online Library.