GEND 3207 The United Nations and R2P

Fall Term 2012

Tuesday 8:30-11:30

Room A242

Instructor: Dr. Rosemary Nagy

Office hours: Tuesday 12-2 or by appointment,

Room A335 or 474-3450 ext. 4156

Calendar Course Description: How have the United Nations and other international organizationsfared in their “responsibility to protect” human beings fromgenocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity? Inquiringinto the three main principles of the “responsibility to protect”—to prevent, to react, and to rebuild—we examine intervention,justice, and peacebuilding through an overview of the structureand functions of the United Nations, and an examination of itsrecord of protection in specific cases including gender-based violence.

My objectives (that which I, the Instructor, aim to do in this course):

  • To expose students to the workings of the United Nations and the core principles and pillars of the Responsibility to Protect
  • To develop students’ critical inquiry into the possibilities and limits of intervention in specific contexts
  • To develop students’ collaborative, analytical and research skills through the conflict mapping project
  • To provide ample opportunity for student engagement in class, as well as an opportunity for students to raise questions or concerns and seek additional help when needed
  • To assess student learning through a variety of means and with substantive feedback
  • To facilitate students’ self-understanding as globalized citizens and to encourage political engagement with human rights issues

Learning Expectations (that which students will do and I will measure):

  • Demonstrate pre-class preparation (reading and reflection) and comprehension of key concepts and ideas during class discussions
  • Identify and explain the structure and organization of the United Nations
  • Identify and explain the evolution of R2P and its core principles and pillars, including through as understanding of international relations of power
  • Compare traditional notions of (state) security with gendered concepts of human security
  • Investigate and evaluate gender mainstreaming in the responsibility to protect
  • Differentiate the various responsibilities to protect and critically assess their effectiveness and limitations
  • Select, evaluateand integrate information from various sources, including electronic and print resources, in order to map the contours of a conflict
  • Determine the nature of a conflict including through the application of conflict mapping questions/categories
  • Work collaboratively in a group and create a visual conflict map
  • Analyze the consequences of (non)intervention in a specific conflict and theorize the implications this has for the United Nations and R2P
  • Clearly communicate ideas and argument in written and oral form

Course Evaluation

Conflict Mapping Project:50%

Group Workplan and annotated bibliography (due Oct. 2)(10%)

Group Presentation (November 26)(15%)

IndividualR2P Report (10-15 pages; due Dec. 4 in class)(25%)

Formative Classroom Assessment20%

Final exam (regular exam period)30%

Conflict Mapping Project: see attached handout.

Formative Classroom Assessment: this provides for ongoing assessment of your course learning (readings and lectures) through student participation and active learning activities such as pop quizzes, minute papers, active review, readers’ digests, and classroom debate and discussion (for a sample, see Expect something every week for 2% (there will be some grace for a missed class). Any remainder of the 20% will be allocated to your general participation grade, where participation means active engagement with course readings and discussions, as well as active engagement during your peers’ presentations.

Course Outcomes (what should result from successfully completing the course):

  • Develop research and communication skills
  • Appreciate the complexity of “humanitarian” intervention in intractable conflicts
  • Critically evaluate the structure and politics of the United Nations
  • Conceptually map complex conflicts, including through the integration of various sources
  • Explain to a layperson the principles and challenges of the Responsibility to Protect with respect to specific conflicts
  • Understand and evaluate gender mainstreaming in the United Nations

Required Texts:

Julie A. Mertus, The United Nations and Human Rights, 2nd ed. (New York: Routledge, 2009). ISBN:978-0-415-49140-2.(Available at Gulliver’s Books, 157 Main Street West)

Coursepack (available at Nipissing U bookstore)

Useful websites:


Amnesty International

BBC news online

e-International Relations (academic sources but not peer reviewed)

Global Centre for Responsibility to Protect

Hirondelle News Agency (international justice reporting)

Human Rights Watch

International Crisis Group

International Committee of the Red Cross

IRIN (humanitarian news and analysis)

Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide


Relief Web (fantastic news and analysis source, administered by UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

Uppsala Conflict Data Program

United Nations(esp. Peace and Security link)


See also my website at


We will be using Blackboardin the course. Please check each week for changes or additions to readings and other communications.

GEND 3207 Course Readings

*Supplemental readings are mainly for your interest, although I will sometimes draw on supplemental readings in my lecture

  1. September 11 – Introduction

Gareth Evans, “The Responsibility to Protect after Libya and Syria,” speech delivered to AnnualCastan Centre for Human Rights Law Conference, Melbourne, 20 July 2012. Available at (vimeo:

Julie Mertus, ch. 1, “A Guide to the New UN Human Rights Practice”

  1. September 18 –United Nationsand Human Rights

Charter of the United Nations (find online)

Mertus, ch. 2-3(focus on ch. 3)

United Nations Secretary General (2005) In Larger Freedom: towards development, security and human rights for all, Executive Summary at

  1. September 25–United Nationsand Human Rights

Mertus, ch. 4-5.

“Kofi Annan attacks UN Security Council for ‘finger-pointing and name-calling,’” Telegraph News, 7 August 2012 at

  1. October 2 –Peace and Security*group workplan and annotated bibliography due in class

Karen A. Mingst and Margaret P. Karns. The United Nations in the 21st Century. Boulder, Co.: Perseus, 2007. Ch. 4, “Peace and Security” pages 83-115. [coursepack]

Brandon, Hamber, Hillyard Paddy, Maguire Amy, McWilliams Monica, Robinson Gillian, Russell David, and Ward Margaret. "Discourses in Transition: Re-Imagining Women's Security."International Relations20, no. 4 (2006): 487-502. Available at

Peace Women’s overview of SCR 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960 at

*Supplemental: *Supplemental: Commission on Human Security, “Outline of the Report of the Commission on Human Security,” (New York: United Nations, 2003) available at

*Cottey, Andrew. "Beyond humanitarian intervention: the new politics of peacekeeping and intervention." Contemporary Politics 14, no. 4 (2008): 429-46. [refshare]

  1. October 9 – Reading Week
  1. October 16 – Responsibility to Protect: Core Principles

International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to Protect, Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 2001 at Synopsis and chapters 1-5.

*Supplemental: Des Forges, Allison. (1999) Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda. New York: Human Rights Watch. .

In-class film: The Triumph of Evil (60 min.; 254466)

  1. October 23– Responsibility to Protect: Evolution of a Norm*second half for group work

Kofi Annan, “Two Concepts of Sovereignty,” The Economist, 16 September 1999 at

RameshThakur, ‘Iraq and the Responsibility to Protect’, Behind the Headlines(Canadian International Council) 62:1-16 (October 2004), available at

Thomas G. Weiss, “Whither R2P?”(November 2011)at e-International Relations website , at

United Nations.Implementing the Responsibility to Protect.Report of the Secretary-General.A/63/677.12 January 2009, 1-9.

*Supplemental: Aidan Hehir, “The Responsibility to Protect: ‘Sound and Fury Signifying Nothing’?” International Relations, Jun2010, Vol. 24 Issue 2, p218-239.[refshare]

*United Nations, 2005 World Summit Outcome document at

  1. October 30 –Darfur: “Test Case” for R2P*second half for group work

JideMartynsOkeke, “Contextualising the ‘Responsibility to Protect’ in Darfur,”International Journal of African Renaissance Studies(2010) 5, no. 1: 65-81[refshare].

Lanz, David. "Save Darfur: A Movement and its Discontents."African Affairs108.433 (2009): 669-77.[refshare]

*Supplemental: Report of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur to the United Nations Secretary-General, 2005 at

*De Waal, Alex. "Darfur and the Failure of the Responsibility to Protect."International Affairs83.6 (2007): 1039-54. [refshare]

*de Waal, Alex. 2007. The Wars of Sudan. The Nation 284, no. 11 (Mar 19): 16-20. [refshare]

*de Waal, Alex. (2005). "Defining Genocide," Index on Censorship, 34 (1): 6-13.[refshare]

*Flint, Julie. 2006. "Darfur: Dying for Peace." Review of African Political Economy 33, no. 108 (June) : 325-368. [refshare]

*Human Rights First et al. (2008) "Rhetoric vs. Reality: The Situation in Darfur" at Human Rights Watch

  1. November 6 – Conflict Mapping Project: Group Presentations
  1. November 13 – Gender, Peacekeepingand Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

Higate, Paul (2007) "Peacekeepers, Masculinity, and Sexual Exploitation," Men and Masculinities 10(1):99-119.[refshare]

Simic, Olivera. "Does the Presence of Women Really Matter? Towards Combating Male Sexual Violence in Peacekeeping Operations."International Peacekeeping 17, no. 2 (2010): 188-99.[refshare]

Take a look at the UN website, “Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN and Related Personnel,” at

*Supplemental: Frédéric, Mégret. "Beyond the ‘Salvation’ Paradigm: Responsibility To Protect (Others) vs the Power of Protecting Oneself."Security Dialogue40, no. 6 (2009):575-595.[refshare]

In-class film: Blue Helmets: Peace and Dishonour (267503) (CBC, 2007; 42 min)

  1. November 20 – Gender Mainstreaming*submit individual report outlines or drafts

Myriam, Denov. "Wartime Sexual Violence: Assessing a Human Security Response to War-Affected Girls in Sierra Leone."Security Dialogue37, no. 3 (2006): 319-342.[refshare]

Cohn, Carol (2007) "Mainstreaming Gender in UN Security Policy: A Path to Political Transformation?" in Shirin M. Rai and Georgina Waylen, eds., Global Governance. New York: Palgrave. Pages 185-206. ISBN: 978-0-230-53705. [coursepack]

Review SCR 1325, 1820, 1888, 1889, 1960 at

*Supplemental: Handrahan, Lori (2004) "Conflict, Gender, Ethnicity and Post-Conflict Reconstruction," Security Dialogue 35(4):429-445. [refshare]

  1. November 27–International Justice and Gender-Based Violence

Chappell, Louise (2008) "The International Criminal Court: A New Arena for Transforming Gender Justice?" in Shirin M. Rai and GeorginaWaylen, eds., Global Governance. New York: Palgrave. Pages 160-184. ISBN: 978-0-230-53705. [coursepack]

Buss, Doris. 2007. "The Curious Visibility of Wartime Rape: Gender and Ethnicity in International Criminal Law." Windsor YB of Access to Justice 25:3-22. ISSN: 0710-0841. [ON RESERVE IN LIBRARY]

  1. December 4 – Conclusions and Review*individual conflict mapping report due in class