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  • Roland Paris

Responsibility to Protect: The Debate Continues

I am grateful to Ramesh Thakur, Robert Pape, David Mutimer and David Chandler for their thoughtful replies to my article on ‘The “Responsibility to Protect” and the Structural Problems of Preventive Humanitarian Intervention'. They each raise interesting, albeit quite different, points. Indeed, reading the commentaries reminded me of the Roman playwright Terrence's aphorism, ‘quot capita tot sensus’, which in English literally means ‘as many heads, so many opinions’, or as President Franklin D. Roosevelt quipped 18 centuries later: ‘There are as many opinions as there are experts’. To wit: Thakur asserts that the structural problems described in my article are not real; Pape believes they are real, but not as daunting as I have suggested; whereas Mutimer and Chandler argue that these problems are actually manifestations of deeper processes, but have different ideas about the nature of these processes.

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