E. Donald Briggs

  • The Responsibility to Protect, the report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS), focused on three international responsibilities in the area of human security: the responsibility to prevent, the responsibility to react, and the responsibility to rebuild. The report acknowledged the difficulty of identifying countries likely to experience widespread civil violence and then predicting when this would occur. But the authors of this book submit that if ever a case of a "responsibly to prevent" was possible to anticipate, South Sudan was it. A Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) ended the Sudanese second civil war in 2005 with a call for a referendum to be held in South Sudan in 2011 to determine the region's future, In the event, an overwhelming majority voted for independence for the region. The question that motivated this book is whether the CPA would set in motion a process resulting in yet another brutal conflict, and, if that conflict was widely predicted, what should be the response of the international community in terms of "responsibility to prevent"? Mass media coverage has been identified as an important factor in mobilizing the international community into action in crisis and potential crisis situations; however, the impact of media reporting on actual decision-making is unclear. Thirty-plus years of research has demonstrated consistent agenda-setting effects, while a more recent stream of research has confirmed significant framing effects, the latter most likely to occur in cases where advocacy framing is used. This book examines the way in which the press in Canada and the United States interpreted the potential for violence that accompanied South Sudan's independence in 2011, and whether or not their governments had a responsibility to prevent.

  • Africa's Deadliest Conflict deals with the complex intersection of the legacy of post-colonial history-a humanitarian crisis of epic proportions-and changing norms of international intervention associated with the idea of human security and the responsibility to protect (R2P). It attempts to explain why, despite a softening of norms related to the sanctity of state sovereignty, the international community dealt so ineffectively with a brutal conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which between 1997 and 2011 claimed an estimated 5.5 million. In particular, the book focuses on the role of mass media in creating a will to intervene, a role considered by many to be the key to prodding a reluctant international community to action. Included in the book are a primer on Congolese history, a review of United Nations peacekeeping missions in the Congo, and a detailed examination of both US television news and New York Times coverage of the Congo from 1997 through 2008. Separate conclusions are offered with respect to peacekeeping in the Age of R2P and on the role of mass media in both promoting and inhibiting robust international responses to large-scale humanitarian crises.

  • The Syrian Civil War has created the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of World War II, sending shock waves through Syria, its neighbours, and the European Union. Calls for the international community to intervene in the conflict, in compliance with the UN-sanctioned Responsibility to Protect (R2P), occurred from the outset and became even more pronounced following President Assad's use of chemical weapons against civilians in August 2013. Despite that egregious breach of international convention, no humanitarian intervention was forthcoming, leaving critics to argue that UN inertia early in the conflict contributed to the current crisis
    Syria, Press Framing, and The Responsibility to Protect examines the role of the media in framing the Syrian conflict, their role in promoting or, on the contrary, discouraging a robust international intervention. The media sources examined are all considered influential with respect to the shaping of elite views, either directly on political leaders or indirectly through their influence on public opinion. The volume provides a review of the arguments concerning appropriate international responses to events in Syria and how they were framed in leading newspapers in the United States, Great Britain, and Canada during the crucial early years of the conflict; considers how such media counsel affected the domestic contexts in which American and British decisions were made not to launch forceful interventions following Assad's use of sarin gas in 2013; and offers reasoned speculation on the relevance of R2P in future humanitarian crises in light of the failure to protect Syrian civilians.

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