On the Limits of Moral Hazard: the Responsibility to Protect, Armed Conflict and Mass Atrocities

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Title On the Limits of Moral Hazard: the Responsibility to Protect, Armed Conflict and Mass Atrocities
Author Bellamy, Alex J; Williams, Paul D.
Journal Name European Journal of International Relations
Year Published 2012
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications Ltd.
Abstract Advocates of moral hazard theory argue that the 'responsibility to protect' causes genocidal violence that would not otherwise occur. After summarizing the main elements of the moral hazard approach, this article demonstrates that there is no empirical evidence to support the general claim that the 'responsibility to protect' is a remote cause of genocide. This is followed by an analysis of the conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Darfur which demonstrates that moral hazard does not provide a plausible account of the proximate causes of genocidal violence in these cases. We suggest that a major part of the explanation for why moral hazard theory performs so badly is its reductionist account of the dynamics of armed conflict and its simplistic understanding of the dynamics of provocation.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Alternative URI http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1354066110393366
Volume 18
Issue Number 3
Page from 539
Page to 571
ISSN 1354-0661
Date Accessioned 2012-04-26
Language en_US
Research Centre Centre for Governance and Public Policy; Griffith Asia Institute
Faculty Griffith Business School
Subject Political Science
URI http://hdl.handle.net/10072/45388
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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