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.