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Sovereignty and the Non-European World

Sovereignty and the Non-European World

(p.100) Chapter Four Sovereignty and the Non-European World
Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect
Luke Glanville
University of Chicago Press

This chapter argues that, while notions of sovereign responsibilities for the protection of populations were to some extent being suppressed by emerging sovereign rights to self-government and non-interference within Europe in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the understanding that sovereignty entails responsibilities was to be clearly found in relations between European international society and the non-European world. These responsibilities were expressed in justifications for early examples of “humanitarian intervention,” in the so-called “standard of civilization,” in the abolition of the slave trade, and in justifications for colonialism. These expressions of responsibility can be rightly understood as germs of present day ideas of “sovereignty as responsibility” and the “responsibility to protect.” But additionally, the enduring memory of humiliation and oppression suffered by non-Europeans at the hands of Europeans in this period has sustained their demands for unconditional sovereign rights to self-government and non-intervention and their opposition to notions of sovereign accountability since the Second World War.

Keywords:   Colonialism, Humanitarian Intervention, Responsibility to Protect, Slave Trade, Sovereign Responsibilities, Standard of Civilization

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