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Our heartiest congratulations to RegNet PhD scholar Felicity Gray, who has been awarded the inaugural Edward C. Luck Prize for her article, Relational R2P? Civilian-led prevention and protection against atrocity crimes.
The Responsibility to Protect – known as R2P – is an international norm that seeks to ensure that the international community never again fails to halt the mass atrocity crimes of genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity. Felicity’s article rethinks how we understand the R2P, moving away from something external and about ‘saving strangers’, to instead look at the ways that people and communities experiencing violent conflict already work together to prevent atrocities and protect one another.
Based on over 18-months of field research conducted over the course of her PhD, Felicity’s paper draws on understanding from an additional year she spent working in protection in South Sudan during the pandemic. During her time there, she formed close personal relationships with the many community members doing the same community-led unarmed civilian protection work.
“Often, we talk about atrocity prevention and protection as theory, and this paper is an effort to show, with a range of examples, what this can look like in practice,” she says.
“I’m grateful for what I have learned from communities about protection, and it’s an honour to be able to amplify their efforts in this paper.”
Felicity was thankful to be able to share her research with the wider academic community.
“I’m grateful and honoured to have the importance of this research recognised through the Edward C. Luck Prize. I have learned so much from communities in South Sudan using unarmed civilian protection to protect themselves and each other, and it’s exciting to be able to share these lessons with the academic community through the journal and the award.”
The Edward C. Luck Prize for Early Career Researchers - Global Responsibility to Protect (GRP) was established in honour of the late Professor Edward C. Luck, who served as the Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General on the RTP where he was instrumental in developing the concept and implementation of R2P.