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Published in Cooperation and Conflict: Nordic Journal of International Studies, 51(2) 2016: 184-99.
There is a curious tendency among some scholars and commentators to denigrate the impact of the Responsibility to Protect (R2P). Drawing on constructivist scholarship that illuminates both the regulative and constitutive ways that norms matter and that explains how the effects of norms can be interpreted, I argue that the R2P norm has a real and observable impact on the behaviour of states. I demonstrate that this impact can be detected not only in instances of compliance, such as in Libya, but perhaps even more clearly in examples of violation, such as in Syria.