What Is a Just Peace? Edited by Pierre Allan, Alexis Keller (Oxford University Press) Just War has attracted considerable attention. The words peace and justice are often used together. Surprisingly, however, little conceptual thinking has gone into what constitutes a Just Peace. This book, which includes some of the world's leading scholars, debates and develops the concept of Just Peace. The problem with the idea of a Just Peace is that striving for justice may imply a Just War. In other words, peace and justice clash at times. Therefore, one often starts from a given view of what constitutes justice, but this a priori approach leads - especially when imposed from the outside - straight into discord. This book presents conflicting viewpoints on this question from political, historical, and legal perspectives as well as from a policy perspective. The book also argues that Just Peace should be defined as a process resting on four necessary and sufficient conditions: thin recognition whereby the other is accepted as autonomous; thick recognition whereby identities need to be accounted for; renouncement, requiring significant sacrifices from all parties; and finally, rule, the objectification of a Just Peace by a "text" requiring a common language respecting the identities of each, and defining their rights and duties. This approach based on a language-oriented process amongst directly concerned parties, goes beyond liberal and culturalist perspectives. Throughout the process, negotiators need to build a novel shared reality as well as a new common language allowing for an enduring harmony between previously clashing peoples. It challenges a liberal view of peace founded on norms claiming universal scope. The liberal conception has difficulty in solving conflicts such as civil wars characterized typically by fundamental disagreements between different communities. Cultures make demands that are identity-defining, and some of these defy the "cultural neutrality" that is one of the foundations of liberalism. Therefore, the concept of Just Peace cannot be solved within the liberal tradition.
As Just War has attracted considerable attention for centuries, the words peace and justice have been, and are still, often used together. While an old doctrine of Just War exists, surprisingly little conceptual thinking has gone into what constitutes a peace that is a just one. This book debates this problématique and develops the concept of a Just Peace.
The problem with the idea of a Just Peace is that striving for justice may imply a Just War, or at least 'justifiable violence, as Adam Roberts, one of the contributors to this book argues. Peace and justice do clash at times. Therefore, one often starts from a given view of what constitutes justice, but this a priori approach leads—especially when imposed from the outside—straight into discord. This book presents various—and at times conflicting—viewpoints on this question from perspectives originating in political science, history, international law, political philosophy, cultural studies, and theology in particular, as well as from a policy perspective. In that respect, it takes into account the process of the Geneva Accord—the first comprehensive Israeli–Palestinian peace plan—with which one author and the editors were closely associated.
This book presents complementary approaches to a Just Peace and the editors, building on the different contributions, propose the concept of a Just Peace as a language-oriented process. It is just, because it is based on conventions that are negotiated and accepted by the parties. Recognition, renouncement, and rule are central. In this sense, the Geneva Accord embraces some of these conventions. Thus the book ends up challenging a liberal view of peace founded on norms claiming universal scope. This liberal conception has difficulty in solving conflicts such as civil wars characterized typically by fundamental disagreements between different communities. Cultures make demands that are identity-defining, and some of these defy the 'cultural neutrality' that is one of the foundations of liberalism.
War was, and has continued to be, a problem that has plagued people's existence and begged for civility and restriction in its use. Partially because of its humanly constructed nature, and also because of great necessity—made all the more essential and urgent with the development of weapons of mass destruction—constraints to war are felt as vital by everyone, even if for some this is only lip service. It is too often overlooked that four nuclear armed countries all chose defeat rather than to deploy these highly destructive weapons.' This occurred when the Soviets were engaged in Afghanistan, the French in Algeria, and in separate instances when the Chinese and the Americans were waging war in Vietnam. Since their first and only use in the Second World War, states have thus far not encountered a situation in which they could justify the use of nuclear weapons to themselves, or to the rest of the world. It also raises the question of whether the logic of war, in which all available means may be applied to protect the state, has reached some kind of limit.
Alternative and non-violent ways to peace need to be contemplated. Although the path through justice is a demanding one, its accomplishment opens the way to a durable settlement accepted by the parties initially engaged in conflict. Clearly, the more ambitious goal of peace with justice can lead to smaller chances for success. Indeed, it may derail the whole enterprise and keep the flames of violent conflict alive through the search for `justice'—alas it is not the same on both sides of the fence!
The point of departure in this discussion of the complex interrelationships between violent conflict, peace, and justice is Peace and Justice: A Prologue (Chapter 2) by Stanley Hoffman. He presents a sketch of the international arena in which a belligerent justice is seen as a last resort that can at times justify the use of violence. To describe this notion, Hoffman uses the potent representation of a justice that 'no longer resembles the traditional image of a scale, but instead the image of a fighter with his sword: This conviction that there are moments in which all reasonable options have been exhausted, leaving only recourse to the use of force, acts as a baseline that frames
Hoffman's philosophy. Because there is no 'all-powerful Olympian judge' to preside over international conflicts and impose an objective justice, self-defence must remain an available remedy. Hoffman also proposes that the lack of an international judicial system means that the leaders of nations must take into consideration the perceptions of injustice that can stem from their decisions. Since it is widely recognized that any evaluation of conditions will not come from an objective authority, but rather a national one, all conclusions will be interpreted as subjective. This being the case, conflicts are bound to arise over differing interpretations. Therefore, to avoid creating large-scale resentment it is necessary to allow feelings and perceptions to be a part of political calculations. Otherwise the subjectivity of justice becomes predominant and the resolution of conflict comes down to traditional concepts of power.
This last point also relates to Hoffnian's reference to Kant in which the internal transformation of states is viewed as the best antidote to war. This alteration is based on a 'transition to the rule of citizens in representative democracies. In such a system where universal suffrage is accepted and all are regarded as valuable members of the society, each person's perspective matters. Kant proposes that in such a constitution, a 'perpetual peace' is possible because there, citizens will have great hesitation on embarking on so dangerous an enterprise. For this would mean calling down on themselves all the miseries of war, such as doing the fighting themselves, supplying the costs of the war from their own resources, painfully making good the ensuing devastation, and, as the crowning evil, having to take upon themselves a burden of debt which will embitter peace itself and which can never be paid off on account of the constant threat of new wars.'
Justice, Peace and History: A Reappraisal (Chapter 3) by Alexis Keller investigates how international law and its predecessor, the law of nations, was, at crucial junctures of its history, a form of cultural imperialism. Keller claims that 'we have no hope of explaining what is—or is not—a Just Peace unless we pay more attention to the intellectual context in which international law was formed. Indeed, in the early phases of European expansion the indigenous peoples were granted rights by modern theories of international law but these rights were gradually eroded in response to the changing demands of European settlers. Over a period of four hundred years following the conquest of Mexico, there was a progressive retreat by Europeans from conceding sovereign rights to specific non-European Peoples. During this time, Keller argues, international legal thought progressed from recognizing
sovereignty in indigenous peoples to recognizing conditional sovereignty to eventually denying it. This was especially the case with peoples labelled as `barbarians' or 'uncivilized. Important moments in these developments were the adoptions by natural law theorists of Locke's vision of history and Locke's labour theory of property. Also relevant was the emergence of a 'universalizing discourse about law' mainly Eurocentric, based on the equation: 'culture = nation = state.
In his survey of modern theories of international law, Keller shows that there was nevertheless a tradition of thought that recognized and accommodated cultural diversity. Such a tradition can be found in the writings, among others, of Montesquieu, Rousseau, and US Chief Justice John Marshall. These `dissenters' did shape the usual authoritative way of comprehending 'otherness' and offered new ideas to accommodate cultural differences. They did not presume that modern European cultures were superior and the base requirement for individual freedom. They underlined the necessity to preserve diversity inasmuch as what was applicable to relations between European states was not necessarily appropriate to relations with other civilizations.
One of Keller's principal claims in his chapter is that these writers proposed ane of the cornerstones of the concept of Just Peace: the principle of recognition. They developed this notion from an effort to understand not only another's point of view, but also the deeper context from which another persp' ective arose. They rooted this principle in the conviction that the law of nations of their time was inappropriate. They pleaded for the Other to become a part of a new We, and knowing that this did not need to lead to the loss of Self
Consequently, the tracing of this principle of recognition through the history of the law of nations gives a new perspective to the idea of justice in international society. Although many might turn to international law in the belief of an equalizing tradition, there are identifiable shortcomings to be found in its origins that cannot be overlooked, especially when dealing with intercultural conflicts. Contemporary international law can surely help redress the legacy of its hegemonic history. For instance, were it to be adopted, the Draft United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would be an important set of norms against which to measure the moral legitimacy of individual states. But international law still needs to address the issue of whether it possesses the standards to achieve peace that is not only just, but also perceived as such.
In Just Peace: A Cause Worth Fighting For (Chapter 4), Sir Adam Roberts presents his thesis. The reader is offered a series of different themes exploring the avenues and pitfalls of how we might arrive at a Just Peace. Through his investigation what becomes most apparent is the difficulty of achieving this lofty goal. This is by no means to say that this author doubts the possibility of Just Peace, however it is all the more important to recognize the size and complexity of a task before undertaking it with any seriousness. Prescriptive methods simply revealing a cultural bias, a diversity of ideas concerning justice, and an inclination to impose an 'ideal' model are all dangers to be aware of in this endeavour. Additionally, conflicts between justice and peace might be more prolific than normally acknowledged and the language of justice has often been co-opted to frame arguments in international affairs that can make positions inflexible. These are all possible pitfalls, and so it is best to identify them at the outset so that we may be properly alert to their presence in our discussions.
One of the principal ideas presented in this chapter is, as seen in the Hoffman piece, that it may sometimes be necessary to fight in order to secure and construct the foundation of a Just Peace. This does not, however, mean that Roberts approaches the topic from a realist perspective in which efficacy is related to a baseline of force. Rather, his work illustrates the importance of using coercion at times to put into effect understandings of justice, without losing sight of the undermining effect this might have on legitimacy and thus peace. Although Roberts indicates a dearth in serious academic research into the popular civil resistance that has brought about peaceful political change in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, he holds fast to his analysis that there are times when force can, in fact, be justifiable. As a scholar who has published extensively on humanitarian law, Roberts is aptly familiar with the theory of Just War, and this is why he advocates the use of a similar, yet substantially different, term: justifiable force. 'This would move the tradition away from appearing to approve a war as a whole, and toward recognizing something more conditional and cautious—that the threat and use of military force by a particular state or group of states may in particular circumstancesbe justifiable.'
One other topic that should not be overlooked is the notion of 'assisting change through the magnetic power of successful example' or 'induction' that Roberts examines through the Helsinki Process. There is much literature and speculation about the European Union and how its presence and structure will shape the future of international relations. Roberts writes about how this development has had an impact on the nations of this region and how it has already opened the concept of 'induction' through adherence to human rights law to become a part of the Union. One of the points that Roberts makes clear is that it is through processes at the regional level and not only through the United Nations, that we can find positive illustrations of how justice can be maximized without the introduction of force. This brings us back to the original notion that war that is waged justly aims at peace. And since a desire to proliferate the 'good' has been what has long shaped human relations, this examination of the Helsinki process provides an admirable example of how an internal focus on justice can create an environment that witnesses promulgation.
In Measuring International Ethics: A Moral Scale of War, Peace, Justice, and Global Care (Chapter 5), Pierre Allan goes beyond Just Peace in a comparative perspective, distinguishing it in particular from its closest 'moral' neighbours, a stable (but usually unjust) peace and positive peace. Allan develops an international ethical scale to evaluate different acts from a moral standpoint, with conflict as the baseline of ethical behaviour. The more extreme the discord, the worse it is considered on the scale he has created, and the more harmonious, the better.
Allan's scaling proceeds on the basis of two dimensions
independent of each other—a consequentialist one and a deontological
one—that are used in tandem. He argues that the end points of his
moral scale—the complete eradication of humankind on one hand, and
paradise on the other—actually correspond to a vanished humanity.
The worst that can now be carried out by a national leadership could
lead to a nuclear holocaust in which none survive. At the other end
of the spectrum, a society in which only agape, love for each
antkail, existed, would leave no need for moral principles.
Arguing that absolute unhappiness and absolute happiness are not of gift world, Allan presents eight intermediary moral situations, all of an empirical content, each being superseded by the next one in ethical terms. The first four types correspond to various kinds of conflict: genocide, war, (Hobbesian) non-war, and Just War. His scale then proceeds to stable peace, Just Peace, positive peace (or minimizing structural violence), and 'global care: These are the four categories that he considers of an ethical 'good' in ascending order.
Allan criticizes modern theories of justice which claim universality while addressing themselves to free and competent adults only. Which then re dependants in such schemes? Briefly analyzing some extreme cases for ases such as Auschwitz, Himrnler, and Hitler, Allan shows that humanity—in the sense of empathy and a humane attitude to close relations—is in fact never absent. This is the foundation for his ethic of 'global care. He develops it using feminist theories of care, religious, and secular declarations on a global ethic, evolutionary theory arguments, and a critique of a liberal human rights approach. Both encompassing justice and superseding it, the concept of global care is morally superior to positive peace because caring also includes an affective and a cultural dimension. It also means consideration, sympathy, and compassion at both the individual and collective levels. Two basic responsibilities are at its core: treating others humanely—a duty beyond the liberal right to be treated equally; and, observing the Golden Rule—which implies a universality of humanity, as Allan shows. These two responsibilities are complemented by the values of non-violence, tolerance, and solidarity.
In Just Peace: A Dangerous Objective (Chapter 6), Yossi Beilin argues somewhat sceptically. As a practitioner—as well as political scientist—involved directly in conflict negotiations he brings a valuable contribution to this book. Beilin was a former chief negotiator for the Israeli government in the Oslo process at Camp David and Taba. After fulfilling his post as the Minister of Justice for the Israeli government, he became one of the lead Israeli representatives in the Geneva Accord negotiations. In his work here, Beilin points to the possible dangers of speaking about a combination of the concepts of justice and peace, as he believes there clearly cannot be one without the other. In addition, he shows that history is flush with examples in which political leaders have bypassed opportunities for peace because they did not deem the conditions just, and thus perpetuated conflict with untold costs.
Beilin begins by examining European history and describing the notions of peace that developed over time on this particular continent. The concept was largely absent of what would be considered justice for the peoples of each nation, and instead focused on what might suit the royalty or courts. Beilin highlights a string of peace treaties that ended conflict through some kind of a territorial partition, regardless of inhabitants' wishes. This formula seemingly created a sort of perpetual state of war in which there were always unsatisfied grievances that could be used as pretext for reinstating hostilities. It was this approach that was once again used to punish the defeated in the Versailles Peace Treaty, and that many attribute as one of the causes of the Second World War. Only after the rejection of this notion of retributive justice had been internalized by the Europeans has a more stable peace and future been able to be realized.
Beilin also explores the enduring Israeli–Palestinian conflict that has been at the centre of his life and career. He draws attention to the many moments in history in which a possibility for peace was presented to each party to a conflict, and subsequently rejected because the political leaders at the time thought that justice would not be served by accepting the terms on offer. It is this compelling point that Beilin addresses in this book. If people are overly seduced by the notion of a Just Peace, they will be blind to ending conflict when the opportunities present themselves. Beilin claims that a genuine definition of peace already, in fact, includes the notion of justice and that to perpetuate a term that might cause missed opportunities is unjust in itself.
`Since justice is always relative; the notion of qualifying peace with such subjective term could in fact be dangerous.
In Peace, Justice, and Religion (Chapter 7), David Little raises many questions of international legality in addressing the finer concepts of peace enforcing, peacekeeping, peacemaking, and peace building. In discussinig these four issues, the author accentuates the rule of law, democracy, any human rights as foundations for each of these stages towards peace. It through the notions of international legality that Little attempts to bring the concept of justice to the idea of building a more stable and lasting peace. By looking towards collectively accepted international treaties for a concept of justice, little taps into the notion of legal validity that is at least partially composed of a legitimacy that emanates from the people themselves. This is quite important because, ultimately, it is the people involved in a conflict who will determine whether a peace is just, and therefore lasting. It is the theory of iusnaturalism that is based on the idea that each of us has an innate understanding of basic human principles and thus serves as the logic of law to find and follow. If we accept such a view, it means that the international treaties that have been largely, if not universally, ratified by current states bring a certain authority, or legitimacy, to what one can conceive of as justice in istersaaional affairs. So by turning to legality in its global form, Little uses for the baseline of his analysis the closest that international society has thus far bitotable toconstruct in terms of a justice that we all share. Although we find vaikkeasoning" for questioning who has been allowed to participate in this piptusa of uncovering what might be considered natural law, protecting the borne' rights of all and labelling it justice does not seem to create amennable starting point in one of his treatments of religious influence on Just Peace, Little discusses the unconventional thinking of peace enforcement through non-violent measures. He raises the question of whether there is any place for the use of 'legitimate' force in the field of enforcing our notions of peace. Due to the recent respectability gained through its effective implementation, it would seem that Little properly pushes the discussion of Just Peace in the direction of dealing with recalcitrant conflict by employing means that could best avoid reproach. If the instrument used is absent of violence, it is all the more difficult to criticize and claim that injustice has beenrpetrated, and thus justify rereprisals.pe
However, Little also rightfully queries if thds can truly be put
into practice when violent measures are already driesevimethng a
Little often returns to the idea that the best effort that we can make to approach a notion of justice, particularly because of its subjective nature, is through the international legal framework that has evolved over centuries and expanded almost exponentially in the previous sixty years. He believes that `the promotion of internationally recognized human rights provides a unifying theme, and thereby serves to connect justice and peace in a particularly compelling way.
A Method for Thinking about Just Peace (Chapter 8) by the recently deceased Edward Said presents a vivid and passionate depiction of the ongoing conflict that he has experienced first-hand as a Palestinian. Interestingly, he is of the firm belief that a type of secularization of the Israeli—Palestinian conflict is required to keep it from fomenting and intensifying further. As a culturalist, Edward Said is not in concrete disagreement with David Little's assessment of religion's restorative potential in conflict, but it is clear that personal experience has played a major role in shaping each of these intellectuals' contributive chapter.
Said usefully identifies that one common trait in conflict is that rhetoric tends to be tremendously, with his own terminology, 'contrapuntal. This potent idea and method highlights what should be considered an important part of the nature of war: each side tends to present only binary propositions for how to view the opposition and the solutions themselves. So what ends up dominating the discourse are 'us versus them' options that attempt to remove the complexity of what is inevitably a part of each and every dispute. It is through Said's previous study of imperialism that he comes to identifying and accentuating this common feature of conflict that he believes must inevitably be addressed. It also provides him with his method:
A comparative or, better, a contrapuntal perspective is required in order to see a connection between coronation rituals in England and the Indian durbars of the late nineteenth century. That is, we must be able to think through and interpret together experiences that are discrepant, each with its particular agenda and pace of development, its own internal formations, its internal coherence and system of external relationships, all of them co-existing and interacting with others.'
In Said's chapter, we also find a discussion of the centuries-old battle for Northern Ireland. Here, he is able to artfully and effortlessly discuss the literary works of Lloyd George, Frank Pakenham, Maria Edgeworth, and Brian Friel. Through the use of these illustrations, Said is able to begin to bring to life the antagonisms that the common soul suffers day to day when discord between groups of peoples is aggravated. It is for this reason, among others, that for Said the idea of Just Peace is one that is 'very fluid, rather than a stable, concept. Inevitably, the notions of peace and justice will be based on individuals, which means that there will always be an element of capriciousness that cannot be removed from the equation. This might be disconcerting to some, but these are the only tools with which we have to work when dealing with ideas that are constructed by and carried out by humans.
In his discussion of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, Said makes the extremely important point that 'their histories and cultures—inextricably linked for better or worse—together, contrapuntally, in symbiotic, rather than mutually exclusive term. This acknowledgement is pivotal and can be related to the concept of 'thick recognition' put forward in the concluding chapter by Allan and Keller. When this appreciation of the situation has occurred, it no longer seems as viable to eliminate opposition, because there will always be a tomorrow in which retribution will be demanded by those who feel that an unjust peace had been forced upon family members or previous generations. This is why Said has emphasized the need to think about, and work towards resolving, two histories that have become interwoven. This is despite the fact that many have tried to define each in contradictory terms. Part of arriving at a Just Peace would entail recognizing a shared identity and common history even if this approach highlights differences. Clearly, this might be a monumental task considering the trials and tribulations that have come to pass, but for Said an 'abridged memory' is not an option that will lead to Just Peace.
In the concluding chapter, The Concept of a Just Peace, or Achieving Peace Through Recognition, Renouncement, and Rule (Chapter 9), Pierre Allan and Alexis Keller propose a process-based approach rather than defining justice on the basis of a pre-existing set of universal principles. Just Peace is perceived as such by parties in a peace process based on four necessary and sufficient conditions. The first is 'thin recognition' of the other as an autonomous entity, in a liberal perspective. Second, there must be 'thick recognition' whereby each party needs to understand the other's core features of its identity; this allows for an inter-subjective consensus of what each side profoundly needs to remain 'self, and thus, satisfied in this culturalist perspective. Third is renouncement, when some real concessions need to be made by each of the parties. The last condition is rule in which the inter-subjectivity of the first three conditions and the features of the just solution need to be objectified by a 'text' in the wide sense of the word, including symbolic features, and specifying the particular rules by which the parties agree to abide.
By advocating this approach based on a language-oriented process among directly concerned parties, Allan and Keller go beyond liberal and culturalist perspectives. They claim that negotiators need, throughout the process, to build a novel shared reality as well as a new common language. This allows for an enduring harmony between previously clashing peoples. It develops an inter-subjectivity for those both inside and outside of a conflict by increasing the likelihood of observation through a shared understanding. This point leads into one of the liberal objections that has been raised to the approaches generally put forth in this book. The concern is that the idea of Just Peace might reflect a manner in which the resolution to hostility has been treated previously. Allan and Keller point out that what has largely been advocated formally has looked to ideas of justice through adherence to already drafted and ratified international legal norms. As discussed in this book, there are weaknesses in this idea because of the culturally biased form in which the law of nations emerged. So there would be an inherent inadequacy in advocating observance of regulations that chronically marginalized the influence and existence of different societies. Although there is a respect here for working arrangements and agreements, there is also an explicit recognition that inclusion into the decision-making process helps create the feeling of personal investment into the final negotiated product.
Peace Skills: Manual for Community Mediators by Ronald S. Kraybill, Alice Frazer Evans (Jossey-Bass) & Peace Skills: Leader’s Guide by Ronald S. Kraybill, Alice Frazer Evans (Jossey-Bass) What constitutes a leader in our world today? Is it someone who positively represents us in our community or perhaps the person we elect to characterize us as a country? A leader can be anyone from the head of our church to the president of the school our child attends. Given the conflicts we are sometimes faced with in our own communities or on a global level, we can always use more leaders to help us find solutions. Developed out of the Mennonite commitment to peaceful resolution to conflicts, Kraybill and Evans infuse years of practical community building experience into these workbooks. Based on the collaborative work of the authors in South Africa during the transition from apartheid, both manuals create an exceptionally practical hands-on resource for teaching peace-building skills to community leaders worldwide in either secular or religious settings. This uplifting guide and manual offers to teach individuals who already fit into some aspect of what it means to be a leader, how to lead. Stepping in during a time of conflict and helping to resolve it peacefully by equipping locally recognized moral and political leaders with the mediation skills necessary to attain peace. It could be a conflict as minor as taking someone's parking spot to something as devastating as racial violence. This package refreshingly introduces the idea of bringing individuals who are already recognized as leaders, globally and locally, into the picture. This training package guides community leaders to instill peace in our troubled communities and world, by holding workshops in their communities. The authors have included in Peace Skills the information needed to acquire the basic skills of mediation, also combining it with reflection. It teaches us to consider the ways in which religious faith can help support these leaders in their attempt to restore peace and fairness in our communities.
Rather than bringing in outside experts who mediate and leave a conflict,
this new approach equips the locally recognized moral and political leaders with
mediation skills to achieve peace within their own communities. Includes
practical guidelines for teaching mediation through role-plays, case studies,
and sacred texts. The Leader's Guide prepares people to lead Peace Skills
workshops; the Manual supports workshop participants in apply mediation skills
About the Authors:
Robert and Alice Frazer Evans are international trainers and consultants in the field of conflict resolution and community mediation. They are credited with developing the peace strategies for South Africa's reconciliation movement. Robert is the executive director of the Plowshares Institute, which is committed to education for a peaceful world community. They live in Simsbury, Connecticut. Ronald S. Kraybill is associate professor in the Conflict Transformation Program at Eastern Mennonite University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Kraybill was the former director of training at the Centre for Conflict Resolution in Cape Town, South Africa and founding director of the Mennonite Conciliation Service.
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