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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
October 17, 2017
Canadian Excellence

Current Research

Current Research (March 15, 2010)

State-Induced Famine and the Responsibility to Protect

The major research project for the 2010-17 cycle of my Canada Research Chair will be an investigation of the means to prevent and punish public policies that generate famine. Such policies can be both domestically and externally-induced, by both state and non-state actors, but I will concentrate primarily on famines created by state actors, as in North Korea and Zimbabwe during the last two decades. I will also focus on how actors who generate such policies can be punished.  For example, I will investigate whether the International Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the terms of reference of the International Criminal Court should be revised to consider deliberate creation of famine as a specific crime. Moreover, the responsibility to protect proposed by a panel of eminent experts in 2001and endorsed by Secretary-General Kofi Annanís Report to the UN General Assembly in 2005 might be amended to include responsibility to protect against intentional famine. I will also investigate how and whether such new rules and laws should apply to non-state, as well as state, actors, such as international financial institutions and trans-national corporations.