© 2009

Responsibility to Protect

The Global Moral Compact for the 21st Century

  • Editors
  • Richard H. Cooper
  • Juliette Voïnov Kohler

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Introduction: The Responsibility to Protect

    1. Richard H. Cooper, Juliette Voïnov Kohler
      Pages 1-12
  3. The Responsibility to Protect: Roots and Rationale

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 13-13
    2. Gareth Evans
      Pages 15-29
    3. Susan E. Mayer
      Pages 43-60
    4. Aaron Dorfman, Ruth Messinger
      Pages 61-75
  4. Where the Rubber Hits the Road: The Responsibility to Protect in Northern Uganda,Darfur,and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. And Iraq?

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 99-99
    2. Herbert F. Weiss
      Pages 115-128
    3. William F. Schulz
      Pages 145-159
  5. Moving the Responsibility to Protect from Rhetoric to Action: What it Means for Philanthropy, the United States, and the International Community

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 161-161
    2. Adele Simmons, April Donnellan
      Pages 163-178
    3. Lee Feinstein, Erica De Bruin
      Pages 179-198
    4. Joe Volk, Scott Stedjan
      Pages 199-218
    5. William Pace, Nicole Deller, Sapna Chhatpar
      Pages 219-241
    6. Richard H. Cooper, Juliette Voïnov Kohler
      Pages 243-262
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 263-271

About this book


In 2005, the international community unanimously endorsed a revolutionary norm that has the potential to end genocide and other atrocity crimes in our time. Despite its endorsement at the highest political level and the general feeling of the American public that "something needs to be done" to prevent and stop atrocity crimes, the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) is very much absent from public thinking and the political agenda in the United States. Written by a stellar cast of authors, this book informs the public and leadership about R2P and its potential. It will also influence the academic, community and political debates by providing crucial insights on how to move R2P from rhetoric to action.


conflict crime intervention Policy prevention United Nations

About the authors

RICHAR H. COOPER is the Convenor of the Responsibility to Protect Coalition and Founder of General Welfare Group LLC. 
JULIETTE VOINOV KOHLER is a Swiss international lawyer and Senior Program Officer at the Global Humanitarian Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Bibliographic information


"In an economically integrated world riven still by ethno-religious strife and political divisions, new norms for the behavior of nation-states toward their citizens are imperative. The volume edited by Richard H. Cooper and Juliette VoInov Kohler brings the global discourse on the emerging concept of the responsibility to protect to a new level. Not only does it state powerfully the moral and political case for R2P, it moves us toward a new understanding of what will be needed to gain wider acceptance and implementation of the principle. It defines more thoroughly and powerfully than any previous effort one of the most pressing tasks of a new era in world affairs." - Marshall Bouton, President, Chicago Council on Global Affairs

"These collected essays make a valuable contribution, changing the way we think about the emerging international justice system. The diversity of perspectives, the stature of contributors, and the depth of insight are impressive. Worthwhile reading for all those who are interested in this central issue of our time." - Jonathan Fanton, President, MacArthur Foundation

"The responsibility to protect is the most important shift in our conception of sovereignty since the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648. It is the foundation of an international order that recognizes the rights and responsibilities of individuals as well as states. This volume collects everything you need to know about the origins and evolution of the doctrine and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. It is essential reading for anyone who wants to think creatively and effectively about 21st century politics." - Anne-Marie Slaughter, Dean, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University

"At a time where our nation must rethink its relationship to the world, this collection of essays written by a stellar cast of authors reminds us that in the end it is human decency, as expressed in the noble principle of the responsibility to protect, that must lie at the heart of our connection with our less fortunate brothers and sisters around the world. This book offers precious insights as to what we, as individuals, can do to make a difference, and end genocide and other atrocities in our time". - Rev. Gloria E. White-Hammond, MD, Co-Pastor, Bethel A.M.E.Church, Boston, MA, Co-Founder, My Sister's Keeper, Director, Sisterhood For Peace, Chairwoman, Save Darfur Coalition