Professor Alex BellamyOver the past few decades the international community made significant progress towards strengthening the protection of civilians from genocide and mass atrocities. This was evidenced by consistent declines in the lethality of conflicts and one-sided atrocities. However, since 2011 the trends have moved in the other direction, creating a crisis in human protection that the system may not be able to cope with. This crisis, I will argue, is driven by three principal factors: (1) a significant increase in deliberate attacks on civilian populations; (2) a decline of international commitment to some of the central tenets of human protection; (3) the system’s limited capacity to respond effectively to the increasing burdens placed upon it. The lecture will begin by identifying the trends in civilian targeting before moving on to explain the sources of the current crisis. It will then examine ways in which this crisis of protection might be addressed, focusing in particular on ways of strengthening legal, political and moral accountability for the prevention of genocide and other atrocity crimes.

This keynote is a free public event. 

Professor Alex Bellamy

Professor Alex Bellamy is Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect and Professor of Peace and Conflict Studies at The University of Queensland, Australia. He is also Non-Resident Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, New York and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. In 2008-9 he served as co-chair of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific Study Group on the Responsibility to Protect and he currently serves as Secretary of the High Level Advisory Panel on the Responsibility to Protect in Southeast Asia, chaired by Dr. Surin Pitsuwan.

Dr Bellamy is co-editor of the Global Responsibility to Protect journal. His recent books include Responsibility to Protect: A Defence (Oxford, 2014), Providing Peacekeepers (with Paul D. Williams) (Oxford, 2013) and Massacres and Morality (Oxford, 2012).

Professor Bellamy is Senior Adviser at the International Peace Institute, New York and Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. His forthcoming book is "East Asia's Other Miracle: Explaining the Decline of Mass Atrocities" (Oxford University Press).

View Professor Bellamy's profile

About IAGS Conference 2017 - Public Events

The International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) will hold its thirteenth meeting in Brisbane on 9 – 13 July 2017, at the St Lucia campus of The University of Queensland. The conference is jointly hosted by the TC Beirne School of Law and the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect.

The conference theme is “Justice and the Prevention of Genocide”.

Find out more about the IAGS Conference.


Abel Smith Lecture Theatre (#23), St Lucia