• ROXANA HÎNCU PhD candidate at the Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Iași,


responsibility to protect, military intervention, discourse analysis, humanitarian crisis.


Despite violent protest crackdowns in Libya and Syria, the international community has intervened militarily with unprecedented speed in the former country invoking the protection of civilians, while in the Syrian case it failed to do so. This paper sets itself the task of outlining two domestic factors that lead to different outcomes within the Responsibility to Protect doctrine (here referred to by the acronym R2P)- meant to stop harsh government repression against civilians. Furthermore, it uses the comparative case study method to underline specific independent variables that played a role in determining the different outcomes of the cases.


Bǎdescu, R. (2011). Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect. Security and Human rights. New York: Routledge.

Barnett, M. (2010). The International Humanitarian Order. New York: Routledge.

BCC, (18 May 2011). Bashar al-Assad’s inner circle. BCC news. [17.02.2014]

Bellamy, A. (2009). Responsibility to Protect. The Global Effort to End Mass Atrocities. Cambridge: Polity Press.

Bellamy, A. (2011). Global Politics and the Responsibility to Protect. From words to deeds. New York: Routledge.

Brownlee, J. (2002). And Yet They Persist: Explaining Survival and Transition in Neopatrimonial Regimes. Studies in Comparative International Development, Vol. 37, 35-63.

Bueno de Mesquita, B. (2010). Principles of International Politics. 4th edition. New York: CQ Press.

Bueno de Mesquita, B., Smith, A., (20 Dec 2011). Assessing Assad. The Syrian President isn’t crazy. He’s doing what it takes to survive. Foreign Policy. available at [25.02.2014]

Cooper, R., Kohler, J. (ed.) (2009). Responsibility to Protect. The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century. Ney York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Crawford, T., Kuperman, A. (2006). Gambling on Humanitarian Intervention. Moral Hazard, Rebellion and Civil War. New York: Routledge.

Frieden, J., Lake, D., and Schultz, K., (2010). World Politics. Interests, Interactions, Institutions. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Hass, R. (18 Apr 2011). The Revolution Stops Here. How Syria’s Bashar Assad is bucking the trend in the Middle East. Time Magazine. 177(15).

Hass, R. (2011). The Revolution Stops Here. How Syria’s Bashar Assad is bucking the trend in the Middle East. Time Magazine. Vol. 177, No. 15.

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (2001). The Responsibility to Protect. Ottawa: International Development Research Center.

International Crisis Group (2011). Popular Protest in North Africa and the Middle East: Making Sense of Libya available at [15.01.2014]

Pattison, J. (2010). Humanitarian Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect. Who Should Intervene?. London: Oxford University Press.

Paul Gee, J., Handford, M. (2012). The Routledge Handbook of Discourse Analysis, London: Routledge.

Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: 2005 World Summit Outcome. available at UNDOC/GEN/N05/487/60/PDF/N0548760.pdf?OpenElement [27.01.2014]

Ronen, Y. (2008). Quaddafi’s Libya in World Politics. Lynne Rienner Publishers.

Solomon, J., Spindle, B. (30 Jan 2011). Syria’s Strong Man: Time for ‘Reform’, The Wall Street Journal.

Statement by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay at the Human Rights Council 18th Special Session to examine the situation of human rights in the Syrian Arab Republic, Geneva, 2 December 2011, available [01.03.2014]

Syrian Arab Republic (2011). National report submitted in accordance with paragraph 15 (a) of the annex to HRC resolution 5/1. available at [01.03.2014]

Trevelyan, L. (5 Oct 2011). China and Russia veto UN resolution condemning Syria. BBC news. available at [15.02.2014]

Van Dijk, T. (1997). Discourse as Social Interaction. London: Sage Publications.

Weiss, T. (2011). RtoP Alive and Well after Libya. Ethics & International Affairs Journal, 25(3).

Wheeler, N. (2002). Saving Strangers. Humanitarian Intervention in International Society. New York: Oxford University Press Inc.

Ziadeh, R. (2011). Power and Policy in Syria. The Intelligence Services, Foreign Relations and Democracy in the Modern Middle East. New York: I.B. Tauris.