Emerging powers in the new global order : IBSA and R2P

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Hak, Andrea Raquel Andrea Raquel
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This thesis aims to assess the potential impact of the IBSA group on the Responsibility to Protect. The bloc made up of India, Brazil and South Africa represent a new force of emerging economies. The world is currently witnessing a shift in global power and influence towards the emerging south. India, Brazil, and South Africa in particular have grown to become influential powers within their respective regions. Their shared frustration at having been previously left out of important international decision-making bodies, despite their growing prominence, has led them to challenge the international institutions and submit themselves as leaders in the new global order. The opportunity to prove their shared competence as international powers came in 2011 when all three were elected to the Security Council. In the midst of the Arab Spring the main issue concerning the international community was the implementation of R2P. R2P is a new concept created in 2001 to address the ‘intervention dilemma’ faced during the 1990s. It argues that sovereignty is based on a state’s responsibility to protect its citizens from grave human rights violations. In the event that it is unable or unwilling to do so, it is the responsibility of the international community to protect the people under its administration. Though the concept has been described as an emerging norm, it has been met with reluctance by many states which have been sceptical of its potential for misuse. The Libyan conflict in 2011 clearly demonstrated this divide as R2P supporters hailed its application as a success, while sceptics argued it was used for the sole purpose of regime change. R2P is now facing a legitimacy crisis within the international community. For the concept to become excepted as an international norm it needs clear guidelines and leaders whose endorsement will restore its credibility . Though many critics still view them as staunch defenders of territorial sovereignty, since their emergence as regional powers IBSA have accommodated their stance on R2P. As three democratic emerging powers with increasing influence on the developing world, these countries represent a crossroads between north and south, and east and west. Though often overlooked in favor of established powers, with their regional and international experience, the position of these emerging influential actors on conflict resolution is an important aspect to be analyzed if we are to better understand the future of the R2P debate.
Second semester University: University of Southern Denmark.
foreign relations, Brazil, India, South Africa, human rights, international cooperation, responsibility to protect