The author argues that the norm of humanity in armed conflict, which underpins IHL, has deep roots in the Asia-Pacific region and that there has been meaningful participation of certain States of the region in IHL law-making. Some are among those actively contributing to the development of new or emerging areas relevant to IHL, such as outer space, cyberspace and the protection of the environment in armed conflict. How is it then, the author asks, that there are so many armed conflicts with very serious IHL violations emerging in the Asia-Pacific region? Should we reflect in a more nuanced way on “norm internalization” and “root causes”? The real challenge for progressive humanitarianism, the author contends, is to traverse disciplines and to build on work done in, on and from the region in order to develop more informed and nuanced approaches to understanding the countries and societies of the region, moving on to study the process of norm internalization, and then developing creative and meaningful strategies for strengthening the links between that internalization, actual conduct on the ground, and norm socialization in the wider community.
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