The Study of Diffusion and Practice of International Norms through the “Human Security”: The Case of “Responsibility to Protect”

  •  Yu-tai Tsai    


Power and national interest constitute an important research topic in the study of international politics, and can be seen as the starting point for the study of international relations in the post-war period. A number of scholars have asserted that “power” determines “national interest.” Such a view, however, can result in an excessively restricted understanding of “national behavior,” since the relationship between contemporary international politics and national behavior is not necessarily an ironclad one. This has been borne out by a number of international efforts to maintain peace in the post-Cold War era. Rather than being driven by national interests or regional strategic concerns, a number of military interventions have been carried out in order to prevent ethnic cleansing, safeguard human rights, and uphold certain other values of the international society. Such international values are based on respect for human dignity, the rule of law, and the ideal of democracy. These values are based on norms restricting the use of power and emphasize that the effective use of power is based on legitimacy. In this paper, I would like to explore some of the ideas from which these norms are derived.
Therefore, the paper presents a new method of interpretation for human security by the theory of Constructivism, and meantime the main purpose of this paper is exploring a brief discussion of how a people-centered approach to international norms is currently being implemented and practiced by the international society. This is evidenced by the way in which the concept of human security has developed since it was put forth by the United Nations in 1994. And its more positive normative turning is the case of “R2P”.

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