China, the UN, and Human Protection: Beliefs, Power, Image
A new book from Rosemary Foot, Senior Research Fellow in International Relations, takes a closer look at how China is influencing the global conversation on 'human protection' through its increasing involvement with the United Nations.
Over a relatively short period of time, Beijing moved from dismissing the UN to embracing it. How are we to make sense of the People's Republic of China's (PRC) embrace of the UN, and what does its engagement mean in larger terms?
This study focuses directly on Beijing's involvement in one of the most contentious areas of UN activity — human protection — contentious because the norm of human protection tips the balance away from the UN's Westphalian state-based profile, towards the provision of greater protection for the security of individuals and their individual liberties. The argument that follows shows that, as an ever-more crucial actor within the United Nations, Beijing's rhetoric and some of its practices are playing an increasingly important role in determining how this norm is articulated and interpreted. In some cases, the PRC is also influencing how these ideas of human protection are implemented. At stake in the questions this book tackles is both how we understand the PRC as a participant in shaping global order, and the future of some of the core norms which constitute that order.