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Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation [Hardcover]

Daniel Philpott

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Book Description

May 28 2012 Studies in Strategic Peacebuilding
In the wake of massive injustice, how can justice be achieved and peace restored? Is it possible to find a universal standard that will work for people of diverse and often conflicting religious, cultural, and philosophical backgrounds? In Just and Unjust Peace, Daniel Philpott offers an innovative and hopeful response to these questions. He challenges the approach to peace-building that dominates the United Nations, western governments, and the human rights community. While he shares their commitments to human rights and democracy, Philpott argues that these values alone cannot redress the wounds caused by war, genocide, and dictatorship. Both justice and the effective restoration of political order call for a more holistic, restorative approach. Philpott answers that call by proposing a form of political reconciliation that is deeply rooted in three religious traditions - Christianity, Islam, and Judaism - as well as the restorative justice movement. These traditions offer the fullest expressions of the core concepts of justice, mercy, and peace. By adapting these ancient concepts to modern constitutional democracy and international norms, Philpott crafts an ethic that has widespread appeal and offers real hope for the restoration of justice in fractured communities. From the roots of these traditions, Philpott develops six practices - building just institutions and relations between states, acknowledgment, reparations, restorative punishment, apology and, most important, forgiveness - which he then applies to real cases, identifying how each practice redresses a unique set of wounds. Focusing on places as varied as Bosnia, Iraq, South Africa, Germany, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Chile and many others - and drawing upon the actual experience of victims and perpetrators - Just and Unjust Peace offers a fresh approach to the age-old problem of restoring justice in the aftermath of widespread injustice.

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"Just and Unjust Peace is an important guide for responsible action in the wake of massive violations of justice." --Miroslav Volf, Books & Culture

"Just and Unjust Peace is a book of optimism, of hope, of insistently seeing the glass as half full. Humane but not fatuous or sappy, it is the exit ramp off Apocalypse Highway. One wants Philpott to be right, and wishes him the best in his peacemaking efforts. We should feel grateful that there are people like him willing to take on such hard, frustrating, unglamorous work." - The New Republic

"How can a society construct a better political future from the welter of claims and emotions that attend any effort to deal with past injustices? Everyone concerned with the dilemmas of peace-building will find a treasure trove of ideas and encouragement in Daniel Philpott's Just and Unjust Peace."----Mary Ann Glendon, author of The Forum and the Tower: How Scholars and Politicians Have Imagined the World from Plato to Eleanor Roosevelt

"Daniel Philpott's book, Just and Unjust Peace, can be regarded as a milestone for policymakers and academics looking for ways that go beyond the liberal peace frameworks." -- Nukhet Sandal, The Immanent Frame

"A passionate and compelling defense of political reconciliation written in the spirit of some of the great peacemakers of our time." --Alex Bellamy, The Immanent Frame

"Daniel Philpott is quite simply the best at what he does, namely, bringing normative commitments and empirical sophistication to bear at the most vital issues of our day where religion and public life, both domestic and international, are concerned. Everything he writes deserves careful attention and he is at his best in Just and Unjust Peace."
-- Jean Bethke Elshtain, author of Sovereignty: God, State, and Self

"Philpott (God's Century) puts forth a compelling argument for a religious ethic of reconciliation to solve such political conflicts as war, genocide, and other forms of national ethnic or racial crimes."--Publishers Weekly

"How do we need to rethink the requirements of justice in contexts of political reconciliation? And what resources do the great theistic religions provide for the kind of rethinking that issues in effective political practice? Both for those urgently confronted by these questions and for the rest of us trying to understand their predicaments, Daniel Philpott's impressive book will be indispensable."--Alasdair MacIntyre, author of After Virtue

"Dan Philpott's Just and Unjust Peace is easily the most thorough and vigorous defense presently available of the view that peacemaking, after a period of massive political injustice, should aim not just at punishing offenders but at that far more comprehensive state of affairs that Philpott calls 'political reconciliation.' Philpott skillfully interweaves his articulation of this ethic for dealing with past injustice with careful attention to the objections that might be lodged against it. What makes his discussion especially compelling, however, is that it does not remain at the theoretical level but is enriched by wide-ranging references to how states and other political entities, over the past fifty years, have in fact tried to deal with past injustices and to move forward to a just and peaceful society."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, author of Justice: Rights and Wrongs

"provocative and innovative....Philpott makes a compelling case for placing reconciliation at the core of our thinking about justice and for theorizing justice in a more comprehensive manner." --Ethics

About the Author

Daniel Philpott is Associate Professor of Political Science and Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he is affiliated with the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies. His books include Revolutions in Sovereignty, God's Century, The Politics of Past Evil, and Strategies of Peace.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Just and Unjust Peace Nov. 6 2013
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Just and Unjust Peace: An Ethic of Political Reconciliation is a good textbook for students pursuing peace. The book was scholarly presented illustrated by the richness of the author's experience.

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