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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

PIED5548M The Responsibility to Protect

30 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Professor Jason Ralph
Email: J.G.Ralph@leeds.ac.uk

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module explores in depth the contemporary debates related to the 'Responsibility to Protect/ (R2P) international norm, and examines what steps are being taken to meet that responsibility in situations where vulnerable populations are threatened with atrocity crimes. The module has two parts: part one explores debates surrounding the formulation, adoption and evolution of R2P as a norm across international society, focusing on how it has (or has not) influenced decision-making at the United Nations, and how the 2011 military intervention in Libya influenced perceptions of international responsibility. It considers what tools are available to prevent atrocity (as opposed to reacting to it), including the role international criminal justice, and specifically the International Criminal Court, plays. In this context, the module considers which states (if any) have a ‘special’ responsibility to protect. The second part applies the knowledge gathered in part one to consider four situations where vulnerable populations face the ongoing threat of atrocity crimes. Students will have the opportunity to research and report on topical issues, answering the question what has been / is being / should be done to protect vulnerable populations.

Objectives

This module explores in depth the contemporary debates related to the 'Responsibility to Protect/, (R2P) doctrine of protection, which is one of the most important developments in world politics in the last decades. The module provides students with an in-depth understanding of the key legal, political, ethical issues surrounding R2P. It starts with the context within which the idea of R2P took shape, and addresses the existing bodies of theory concerned with the nature of protection and the foundations of the political and international order, including theoretical debates and controversies that are relevant to R2P and international protection in mass atrocity situations. The students will explore, in detail, the strength, effectiveness and legitimacy of the R2P norm by examining its influence on past crises, as well as investigating how states and civil societies should fulfil their responsibilities with respect to ongoing crises. On completion of this module, student will have an advanced understanding of debates, policies and challenges in this area, and practised in the delivery of policy-relevant analysis.

Learning outcomes
-Acquire a masterly awareness of key academic debates on international protection in cases of mass atrocity, and on The Responsibility to -Protect;
-Demonstrate the ability to apply theoretical concepts on R2P to the analysis of contemporary cases of mass atrocities, and develop an ability to compare and contrast different case studies of mass atrocity crimes;
-Show an understanding of some of the key policy debates within international and regional organisations (the UN, EU, AU) relevant to the implementation of the R2P and its political nature;
-Thoroughly understand the distinct elements of the Three Pillars of the R2P, and how they relate to key concepts such as sovereignty, legitimacy, the use of force, and international law;
-Develop appropriate communicative, research, and transferable skills including an ability to evaluate advanced concepts, to present reasoned and effective arguments in written and oral form, to show critical judgement, and to pursue independent learning.



Syllabus

Outline Syllabus :
Theory and History

R2P as a Response to the Humanitarian Intervention Conundrum of the 1990s
R2P as a ‘Complex’ Norm
R2P in Libya and Syria
R2P and Atrocity Prevention
R2P and the International Criminal Court
Where does responsibility lie? From the great powers to civil society.

Ongoing situations (specific case contingent on current concerns)

What has been / is being / should be done to protect? e.g. Myanmar
What has been / is being / should be done to protect? e.g. Xinjiang
What has been / is being / should be done to protect? e.g. Ethiopia
What has been / is being / should be done to protect? e.g. Cameroon
Conclusions.



Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Seminar112.0022.00
Private study hours278.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

This module requires private and independent study. The module outline will have a very detailed list of recommended literature, which will need to be consulted for assessed group presentation (2 students per group) as well as assessed written assignments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive feedback on an essay plan in week 7 of the module. Feedback will be given on the presentations during seminars. Furthermore, the module leader will also monitor student progression informally through seminars by observing students/, engagement, understanding of topics at hand and discussion points, and class participation.

Methods of assessment

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information


Coursework
Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 X 3000 Essay (End of Term)70.00
Presentation1 x 1500 Report and Group Presentation (Mid Term)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Verbal Presentation as part of the group presentation assessment. Group presentation takes place in specific weeks in the term.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 18/10/2021

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