Introduction: The politics of protection and the limits of the ethical imagination

2018-04-06T14:58:22Z (GMT) by Jonathan Gilmore Kelly Staples
(Introduction) The fall-out from the 2011 Arab Spring has drawn ethical debates about the protection of vulnerable non-citizens into sharp focus. Dilemmas of militarised civilian protection, alongside questions about how best to respond to large-scale forced population displacement, have become significant features of the debate surrounding crises in the Middle East and North Africa. These debates reflect the continued trajectory of what might be understood as the politics of civilian protection, which emerged gradually from the large-scale conflicts of the 20th Century and achieved particular focus in the post-Cold War era. Whether related to developments in the refugee protection regime since the signing of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees, or the more recent developments associated with armed humanitarian intervention, the central concern is the protection of civilians affected by violent conflict and large-scale human rights abuse.

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