The Politics of Protecting Religious Minorities: The State and Communal Violence in India

Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century: Governance and Responsibility in a Fragmented World

Author/s (editor/s):

Cecilia Jacob

Publication year:

2016

Publication type:

Book chapter

Find this publication at:
Oxford University Press India

Published in Cecilia Jacob and Alistair D.B. Cook, eds, Civilian Protection in the Twenty-First Century: Governance and Responsibility in a Fragmented World, New Delhi: Oxford University Press India, 2016, pp. 107-26.

The protection of populations from atrocity crimes committed outside the context of armed conflict resides at the furthest extreme of human rights protections as the international laws of war do not apply in such circumstances. At what point then do domestic politics and practices of protecting populations affected by internal political violence correspond to our understanding of civilian protection in contemporary global politics? Through an examination of the state policies and practices of protecting civilians affected by communal violence in India, this chapter argues that there is a need to conceptualise with much more clarity the notion of ‘sovereign responsibility’ that is integral to R2P as an international normative framework for promoting the protection of civilians from atrocities both during periods of armed conflict and in peacetime. The focus of the chapter is therefore on pillars one and two of R2P that pertain to the sovereign responsibilities of states, with the assistance of the international community where necessary, to ensure that civilians are protected from atrocities such as those committed during periods of communal violence.

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