Responsibility to Protect (R2P): The ICISS Commission Fifteen Years On
Canada played a crucial role in the birth of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) norm, endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 2005, and can remain proud of its achievement in generating a new international consensus about how to respond to genocide and other mass atrocity crimes. Good progress has been made against the four relevant benchmarks – R2P’s role as a normative force, institutional catalyst, effective preventive framework and effective reactive framework. Despite the breakdown of Security Council consensus over Libya in 2011, and the failure since then of R2P to stop mass atrocity crimes in Syria, there are grounds for optimism about its more effective implementation in the future.
(This paper was adapted from a seminar given by the author in his capacity as the 2016–17 Simons Visiting Chair in International Law and Human Security, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 16 September 2016.)
Values and Interests in Foreign Policy Making
Why should Canadians, Australians or anyone else care about human rights atrocities, health epidemics, environmental catastrophes, weapons proliferation or any other problems afflicting faraway countries when they do not have any direct or immediate impact on our own physical security or economic prosperity, viz. our traditionally defined national interests? Are concerns about ‘value’ issues just optional add-ons to states’ foreign policy? This paper spells out my long-held belief, which has its origins in the Pearsonian liberal tradition, that there is a third kind of national interest which every country should pursue: being, and being seen to be, a good international citizen. My argument – which I illustrate with reference to issues such as nuclear disarmament, aid policy, the treatment of asylum seekers, and the responsibility to protect populations against genocide and other crimes against humanity – is that acting as a good international citizen wins hard-headed reputational and reciprocal-action returns, and as such bridges the gulf between idealism and realism by giving realists good reasons for behaving like idealists.
(This paper was adapted from the author’s lecture, delivered in his capacity as the 2016–17 Simons Visiting Chair in International Law and Human Security, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 15 September 2016.)
Pierre Trudeau and the "Suffocation" of the Nuclear Arms Race
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau is known for his challenge to Canada’s NATO policy at the beginning of his tenure in power and his peace initiative at its end. Less well known is his support for innovative arms control policies designed to eliminate the technological impetus behind the nuclear arms race between the US and the USSR during the Cold War. At the first UN Special Session on Disarmament in May 1978, Trudeau delivered a speech outlining a “strategy of suffocation” that provided a novel package of four arms control measures that, taken as a whole, would represent an effective means of halting and eventually reversing the nuclear arms race. Although the superpowers were largely indifferent to them, these ideas helped spur the Department of External Affairs to invest in developing the institutional capacity to enable Canada to play a leadership role in future disarmament diplomacy.
Note: The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in International Journal 71(3), September 2016, by SAGE Publications Ltd. All rights reserved. http://online.sagepub.com DOI 10.1177/00207020/6662798.
Outer Space and Cyber Space: A Tale of Two Security Realms
The concept of "global commons" has been applied under international law to certain special environments for which states have agreed to prohibit national appropriation and to treat these spaces as "the province of all mankind" (Outer Space Treaty 1967). After tracing the origins of the concept with reference to the law of the sea, the paper examines two relatively new environments, outer space and cyberspace, for which the status of "global commons" can facilitate the emergence of a cooperative security regime. The various diplomatic efforts to develop international security arrangements for these vital, if fragile, environments are reviewed and prospects for their successful adoption assessed.
NOTE: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available as: Meyer, Paul. 2016. “Outer Space and Cyber Space. A Tale of Two Security Realms” Ch. 8 in: Anna-Maria Osula and Henry Rõigas (Eds.), International Cyber Norms: Legal, Policy & Industry Perspectives, Tallinn, Estonia: NATO CCD COE Publications, 2016, pp. 155–169.
Business and Politics in Tamil Nadu
John Harriss with Andrew Wyatt
Contrary to analyses of India’s new model of development that portray influential business groups and politicians as entwined and interdependent, there is strong evidence that the economic success of the state of Tamil Nadu has come about in spite of the actions of politicians rather than with their support. Interviews conducted in autumn 2015 with businessmen in Chennai, together with observations of the practices of state politicians, also do not support the argument that business is able to mold state behavior. Rather, the pro-poor social policies that have been pursued in the context of the competitive populism of the two main Dravidian parties – combined with benign neglect of business groups’ interests – have allowed high growth to be institutionalized in an electoral democracy with large numbers of poor citizens.