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NUPI skole

Research Project

Duty of Care: Protection of Citizens Abroad

How can Norwegian society best be protected, when increasing numbers of citizens are found outside the borders of the state?

Themes

  • Security policy
  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Peace operations
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Conflict
  • Governance
  • International organizations

Events

This is the underlying question of DoC:PRO. The project departs from the observation that a steadily increasing proportion of Norwegian citizens are found outside the borders of Norway, and that there hardly exists any sustained conversation about how these citizens can be proactively protected or safeguarded in times of crisis. Thus, the project aims to explore how society can prevent crises for citizens abroad, as well as how the lives and health of citizens can be safeguarded during and after crises abroad. The main challenge can be found in the partiality of existing research - while both state security and citizens abroad are discussed, there is no overarching perspective.

The project thus introduces the concept of the 'duty of care', which states and other principals hold towards their subordinates, as a prism through which protection of citizens abroad can be studied. By highlighting a state's duties and responsibilities for protecting citizens outside of the territory, the concept represents an innovative approach to the study of new security threats, where the security of Norwegians rather than of Norway is at stake; the concept lends itself to understanding, explaining and demonstrating effects of territorially defined state practices, as they are exported beyond the border.

Empirically, the project investigates the concept and the practice of the 'duty of care' in relation to the diplomatic institutions which uphold them, the foreign policy practices which activate them and the public/private partnerships which negotiate them. DoC:PRO will strengthen our understanding of the challenges involved in protecting citizens abroad, critically investigate current practices in the field, establish best practices through comparative investigations and highlight tensions between private liberties and state security.

Seminars:

Project Manager

Nina Græger
Research Professor (part time)

Participants

Halvard Leira
Research Director, Research Professor
Kristin Haugevik
Forskningssjef, Research Professor
Francesco Strazzari
Former employee
Wrenn Yennie Lindgren
Senior Research fellow
Minda Holm
Senior Research Fellow

Articles

New publications

Publications
Publications
Book

The Duty of Care in International Relations Protecting Citizens Beyond the Border

This book offers a first overarching look at the relationship between states and their citizens abroad, approached through the concept 'Duty of Care'. How can society best be protected, when increasing numbers of citizens are found outside the borders of the state? What are the limits to care – in theory as well as in practical policy? With over 1.2 billion tourists crossing borders every day and more than 230 million expatriates, questions over the sort of duty states have for citizens abroad are politically pressing. Contributors explore both theoretical topics and empirical case studies, examining issues such as as how to care for citizens who become embroiled in political or humanitarian crises while travelling, and exploring what rights and duties states should acknowledge toward nationals who have opted to take up arms for terrorist organizations.

  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Governance
  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Governance
Publications
Publications
Chapter

Introduction: The Duty of Care in International Relations

In this introduction, we lay out the premises, logics and content of the book in more detail. In the next section, we introduce a varied set of current international challenges concerning the relationship between states and citizens. In the third section, we present the historical background for why states are interested in citizens beyond the border, and the different forms this interest has taken over the centuries. This feeds into the discussion about the contemporary understanding and practice of the Duty of Care in the fourth and fifth sections. Here we discuss how the concept allows for new insights into current topics, as well as how it reconfigures and ties together insights from existing literatures. In the sixth and final section, we specify how one can go about studying the Duty of Care, with reference to the ensuing chapters of the book. In this section, we emphasise the chains of care, the power relations inherent in them and the dilemmas and paradoxes that arise from asserting and claiming a Duty of Care.

  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Governance
  • Terrorism and extremism
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • Humanitarian issues
  • Governance
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

The Duty of Care for Citizens Abroad: Security and Responsibility in the In Amenas and Fukushima Crises

This article analyses the state’s duty of care (DoC) for citizens who fall victim to unforeseen catastrophic or violent events abroad. The DoC highlights the challenges, dynamics and relations involved in diplomatic practice that is aimed at protecting citizens outside of state borders and where traditional security concepts have little relevance. How has a globalized, more insecure world — with shifting relations and responsibilities among states, their subordinates and other carers — affected the provision of DoC? How do governments and private actors act on the DoC during and after crises? To illustrate, the article draws on the terrorist attack at a gas facility in Algeria in 2013 and the nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, focusing particularly on the Norwegian framework and approach to protecting citizens abroad. In both crises, implementing the DoC required practical skills and measures beyond traditional diplomacy and institutionalized crisis mechanisms.

  • Security policy
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Asia
  • Energy
  • Governance
  • Security policy
  • Diplomacy
  • Foreign policy
  • The Middle East and North Africa
  • Asia
  • Energy
  • Governance
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

Caring and Carers: Diplomatic Personnel and the Duty of Care

This article deals with the duty of care that states hold in relation to their citizens abroad — more specifically, the double role of diplomatic personnel, as both providers and recipients of care. The focus of discussion is states’ duty of care for diplomatic personnel, raising questions of how this care can be balanced with the duty of care for citizens and how far this duty stretches. The article first emphasizes the threats, before focusing on the means of protection: evacuation; physical structures; and psychological care. A tension remains, for as states fulfil their duty of care towards personnel through increasing security, they might at the same time reduce their personnel’s capacity to provide care for citizens. One solution for this tension — outsourcing and local personnel — tests the limits of care.

  • Diplomacy
  • Diplomacy
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

Parental Child Abduction and the State: Identity, Diplomacy and the Duty of Care

States alternate between the roles of ‘caretaker’ and ‘rescuer’ when providing care to citizens abroad. This article suggests that they are more likely to assume the ‘rescuer’ role when core values underpinning their self-identity are at stake. This dynamic is explored by examining a case where a Norwegian mother re-abducted her two children from Morocco. In the process, Norway’s foreign minister authorized shielding the children at the Norwegian Embassy in Rabat, citing ‘Norway’s duty to protect two Norwegian minors in fear of their lives’. A diplomatic conflict between Norway and Morocco followed. The Norwegian response must be seen in light of Norway’s self-identity as a frontrunner for children’s rights. Ultimately, helping the children ‘had’ to trump concerns about diplomatic costs. The broader dilemmas that this case exemplifies should be relevant also to other cases where a state’s concern for a child citizen is pitted against its obligation to diplomatic conventions.

  • Diplomacy and foreign policy
  • Diplomacy and foreign policy
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

Beskyttelsesplikt over alle grenser?

(Norwegian only): This article deals with the «duty of care» held by states for their citizens, when the citizens are abroad. The arguments are based on general developmental traits common to modern states, but the main case is the relationship between the Norwegian state and its citizens. The article raises two main questions, firstly how it became self-evident that the state has a duty of care for its citizens abroad, secondly under what circumstances and in which ways this duty is articulated and put on the political agenda. The first question is answered through an historical and comparative analysis, emphasizing how ties of loyalty between states and citizens developed, and how the legitimacy of modern welfare-states became tied to the will and capacity of states to care for its citizens. The second question is answered through an analysis of a number of fairly recent «crises». Here, special attention is paid to how the media are central to the articulation of crisis, how there is a growing need for the government to act rapidly and visibly in the face of crisis and the tension between the need to demonstrate strength in the face of crisis and the desire that citizens should take greater responsibility for themselves when traveling abroad.

  • Foreign policy
  • Foreign policy
Publications
Publications
Scientific article

Beskyttelse av nordmenn i utlandet