Mass Atrocity Responses and Public Opinion
Mass Atrocity Responses, Public Opinion, and a Deadlocked UN Security Council. Charting New Interdisciplinary Approaches in a Changing Global Environment
It is a tragic fact that mass atrocities have been, and are being, committed across the world. The international community, while condemning these acts, often stands idly by. This conundrum raises a host of empirical, legal, and normative questions regarding the role of public opinion in responding to mass atrocities. What role does public opinion play in deciding how to respond to mass atrocities? What are the drivers of public opinion formation here? Such questions deserve more attention given the ongoing atrocities we witness in Yemen, Syria, Venezuela, and elsewhere. Hence, in a new project entitled “Mass Atrocity Responses, Public Opinion, and a Deadlocked UN Security Council”, researchers will test theories regarding the influence of public opinion on responses to mass atrocities, especially in light of UN Security Council gridlock. The project team aims to develop new ideas about how international institutions can better channel public opinion to improve mass atrocity responses. The project will use a diverse set of methods drawing on political science, law, history, and policy expertise, including on the Responsibility to Protect principle at the UN-level and political support for interstate use of force and humanitarian level in the Dutch national policy discourse.