A Culture of Protection? Perceptions of the Protection of Civilians from Sudan
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- Security in Practice 
The Protection of Civilians (PoC) concept is a prevalent buzzword in the contemporary security-development nexus and comes as a response to new modes of warfare that have made civilians the main causality of war. Just about all actors from the military, development and humanitarian segments relate to the PoC concept in conflict-situations. Although there is a presumably mainstreaming and general infusion of the concept within the international community, there exists no coherent and comprehensive understanding of what the concept really means and what kind of practices it comprises and entails. The concept’s seminal thinkers and proponents fail to provide a clear and unambiguous definition of the concept. Rather it seeks to infuse a culture of protection among international actors operating in contexts which see grave human right violations and direct and indirect targeting of civilians. This report addresses the protection discourse as perceived by various actors in the field, and approaches the discourse in the nexus of PoC and culture of protection. The present paper demonstrates that whereas a narrow definition of PoC runs the risk of repelling actors from the protection-agenda, mainstreaming a culture of protection drawing on wider principles seems worthwhile in order to be comprehensive in terms of including as many actors as possible. A negative facet of such an approach, however, is that PoC becomes open to various actors’ interpretation. Although in line with the implementation of PoC on case-by-case basis, this might not be sufficient to engender an inclusive culture of protection as PoC always will be interpreted at the backdrop of organisations’ embedded mandate and institutional culture, leading to a general conceptual dilution. This paper explores the PoC concept and the culture of protection in the context of Sudan.