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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Responsibility to Prevent: Neocolonialism, Poverty and Mass Atrocity Crimes in Africa
by Brino, Eileen, Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany, 2018, 320; 10812518
Abstract (Summary)

The Responsibility to Protect principle was founded on the premise that sovereignty requires responsibility. The principle establishes the responsibility of states to protect their citizens from mass atrocity crimes and shifts the responsibility to the international community if states fail. This thesis explains how former colonies have had particular difficulty in meeting this responsibility and often fail to protect their populations from things like severe poverty and human rights abuses including mass atrocity crimes. In former colonies the matter of responsibility is complicated by the residual effects of colonial policies that often leave former colonies impoverished, dependent, socially fragmented and with a limited capacity protect their populations. In addition, foreign and international entities such as global financial institutions and transnational corporations often hold significant power in former colonies and even make decisions regarding national budgets and the use of the military.

This thesis employs a postcolonialist approach to analyze four cases of mass atrocity crimes in Rwanda, Sudan, Cote d’Ivoire and Nigeria. This thesis argues that since, in former colonies, foreign and international entities wield power tantamount to state power they bear responsibility and should be held accountable like states. This thesis also argues that a postcolonial interpretation of the Responsibility to Protect would recognize the implied negative duty of foreign and international entities that possess agency and therefore bear responsibility to not contribute to massive human rights violations namely mass atrocity crimes and hold them accountable if they do.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Breiner, Peter
Commitee: Hessler, Kristen, Schoolman, Morton
School: State University of New York at Albany
Department: Political Science
School Location: United States -- New York
Source: DAI-A 79/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: International Relations, Political science
Keywords: Human rights, Neocolonialism, Political theory, Postcolonialism, Poverty, Responsibility to Protect
Publication Number: 10812518
ISBN: 978-0-438-01056-7
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