Chapter 14 Localizing the responsibility to protect: European and Brazilian perspectives
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Today, early enthusiasm about the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) appears to have faded. Both the aftermath of NATO’s intervention in Libya and an increasingly contested global context have sparked discussions on the application and desirability of R2P, often casting Western and non-Western actors in opposing and incompatible normative camps. Yet, such a perspective provides too simple of a picture and fails to recognize the general support by actors across the globe of R2P’s preventive dimension. Building on the idea of norm localization, this paper seeks to add nuance to discussions on R2P’s contestation by looking into potential synergies between the EU’s and Brazil’s support and engagement thereof. Both Brazil, as the proposer of the ‘Responsibility while Protecting’ (RwP), and the EU, as a staunch defender of R2P, provide interesting cases to understand variations of support for R2P in challenging times, particularly with regard to its core preventive dimension. By tracing back both actors’ engagement and support of R2P, this paper illustrates how different strategies can contribute to the same shared goal of atrocity prevention and argues that recognizing synergies between the EU’s and Brazil’s localization of R2P might be a way forward in ensuring the doctrine’s relevance.

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