Queering the Responsibility to Protect

Jess Gifkins, Dean Cooper-Cunningham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Research on the Responsibility to Protect has become increasingly intersectional with over two decades of research; however, there remains a blind spot on the persecution of queer people. This is surprising given that queer people have been persecuted in atrocity crimes as far back as the Holocaust. While the field of genocide studies has recently begun to engage with this area, we frame queer persecution more broadly around the four R2P crimes. In this article we set out the rationale and urgency for including a queer lens in the prevention of atrocity crimes. This is not only about a focus on queer people; we argue for a queer politics and ethics that ceaselessly interrogates all relations of power. We outline the scale of the gap in academic research, policy and state understandings of R2P. Since R2P is often framed as a foreign policy matter by western states, with the global South as the object of R2P, we include two case-studies on escalating persecution against LGBTI+ people in Europe: the United Kingdom and Hungary. We argue that the R2P research and policy communities should remove what we call the ‘cishetronormative blindfold’ and engage more broadly with intersectional approaches to atrocity prevention.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Affairs
Issue number5
Early online date5 Sept 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 5 Sept 2023


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