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date: 27 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the central place of the protection of the individual in international relations and compares the approach of two areas of international practice that seek to protect the individual in armed conflict: the responsibility to protect (R2P) and humanitarian action. The chapter explores three main aspects of the relationship between humanitarian action and R2P. First, it examines the individualization of armed conflict that is essential to the premise of both these international practices of protection. Second, it sets out briefly the respective histories, ethical goals, and key tenets of each approach. Finally, the main part of the chapter identifies areas of complementarity and conflict between these two approaches to the protection of the individual in times of extreme violence. It notes significant overlap and differences between the essentially apolitical emergency approach of humanitarian action and the more constructivist political and state-building approach of R2P.

Keywords: individualization, humanitarian action, responsibility to protect, civilians, humanitarian principles, advocacy

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