Libya and the Responsibility to Protect Between Opportunistic Humanitarianism and Value-Free Pragmatism

"In both Libya and Côte d’Ivoire, regimes that had lost domestic and international legitimacy declared war on their own people. In both, global political responses were shaped by universal values as well as strategic interests. Because the UN is taking the lead in redefining sovereignty by aligning state prerogatives with the will and consent of the people, the ruling class of any country must now fear the risk and threat of international economic, criminal justice and military action if they violate global standards of conduct and cross UN red lines of behaviour. The two operations in Libya and Côte d’Ivoire therefore mark a pivotal rebalancing of interests and values. In the old world order, international politics, like all politics, was a struggle for power. R2P responds to the idealised United Nations as the symbol of an imagined and constructed community of strangers."