The journal Global Responsibility to Protect, the Centre for Grand Strategy at King’s College London, and the Centre for Geopolitics at the University of Cambridge will convene an online symposium between 6-7 September 2021 on Intervention and Responsibility to Protect: Past, Present, & Futures.

About the symposium

This symposium will look at the past, present, and future(s) of intervention for humanitarian purposes.  The last two decades have demonstrated the difficulty of military intervention for humanitarian purposes, and the cost in resources and lives lost of often unsuccessful missions.  We will explore forcible and non-forcible intervention, in a broad historical perspective.  In a time of fracturing multilateralism and a complicated legacy of earlier missions, how can a demand for action be matched by political will and military capability?   This symposium will bring together scholarship developing a finer grained appreciation of historical approaches to ‘saving strangers’, ask where these stand in the context of R2P, and how the rapidly evolving international order will shape future responses.

We are now accepting abstracts for papers from all scholars working in this field, including PhD candidates and early career researchers.  When submitting your abstract, please indicate which theme your paper refers to.

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 1 May 2021.
Abstracts should be submitted to:

Notification of acceptance will be given by 1 June 2021.

We invite papers that respond (but not limited to) to themes including:

  • Modes of Saving Strangers: discourses and praxis
  • International Organizations and the Humanitarian Response to Atrocities
  • US Foreign Policy
  • Global Visions: middle powers and peripheral states upholding fundamental rights in the post-Liberal International Order

Papers can approach these themes through either a) an Applied and Comparative Historical perspective or b) through a contemporary lens, both with a view to speak to the future of intervention for humanitarian purposes.

Publishing opportunity

Following the symposium, the symposium organisers will submit selected papers for inclusion in an issue of the journal Global Responsibility to Protect.


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