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date: 27 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at Arab perspectives on the responsibility to protect, both at a conventional, state-focused level, and at the level of civil society. The study shows that the Arab region’s views on R2P are varied, nuanced, and subject to change, varying not only between governments and citizens, but also among citizens themselves. The positions expose a widespread tension between a strong attachment to sovereignty, and a willingness to provide support to populations facing danger, in particular fellow Arabs and Muslims. At the same time, the region is united over the perception of an international double standard, which, from an Arab perspective, is symbolized at its worst by the Security Council’s inaction on Palestine. Arab reactions to other conflicts, such as Libya or Syria, however, indicate that although explicit references to the concept are rare, a lively debate on the very idea of R2P is going on in the region.

Keywords: responsibility to protect, Arab world, civil society, Palestine, Libya, Syria

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