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Palgrave Macmillan

The Protection Paradox

How the UN Can Get Better at Saving Civilian Lives

  • Book
  • © 2023


  • Provides a current account of UN’s re-thinking its Peacekeeping Operations and Protection of Civilian mandates
  • Based on extensive interviews with senior UN officials at the headquarters and in the field
  • Written from author’s extensive personal experience working in the field

Part of the book series: Human Rights Interventions (HURIIN)

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About this book

The book provides an up to date and authoritative account of how the UN is re[1]thinking its obligations to protect civilians during conflicts. Based on hundreds of interviews with senior UN officials and humanitarian protection staff in headquarters and in the field and a review of the UN´s ´grey literature´. It also draws on the author´s own experience of working on human rights and protection in some of the world´s most violent conflicts. It is written not about what the UN ought to do – or how it could have behaved differently in an abstract or theoretically ideal world – but what the UN is actually doing to fulfil the fundamental purposes set forth in its Charter. 

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Table of contents (7 chapters)

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

    Conor Foley

About the author

Conor Foley teaches at the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro and works as a consultant on legal reform, human rights, and humanitarian protection in conflict zones. His previous books include UN Peacekeeping Operations and the Protection of Civilians, saving succeeding generations (2017) The Thin Blue Line, how humanitarianism went to war (2008) and In Spite of You: Bolsonaro and the new Brazilian resistance (2019).

Bibliographic Information

  • Book Title: The Protection Paradox

  • Book Subtitle: How the UN Can Get Better at Saving Civilian Lives

  • Authors: Conor Foley

  • Series Title: Human Rights Interventions

  • DOI:

  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan Cham

  • eBook Packages: Political Science and International Studies, Political Science and International Studies (R0)

  • Copyright Information: The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2023

  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-3-031-27426-8Published: 14 March 2023

  • Softcover ISBN: 978-3-031-27429-9Published: 15 March 2024

  • eBook ISBN: 978-3-031-27427-5Published: 13 March 2023

  • Series ISSN: 2946-5117

  • Series E-ISSN: 2946-5125

  • Edition Number: 1

  • Number of Pages: XVII, 168

  • Number of Illustrations: 1 b/w illustrations

  • Topics: International Relations Theory, Political Science

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