Peace and Justice: A Prologue

In Pierre Allan (ed.), What is a Just Peace? Oxford University Press (2006)


Why has peace been often unjust, and why has justice been more belligerent than peaceful? Frequently, peace or armistice has served only to put a temporary end to violence, and has left some or all sides feeling dissatisfied. Peace has also been an imposition on the part of the victors of conflict to the end of some notion of order, thus leaving the affected common people to draw their own conclusions without ever being consulted. It is for this reason that justice is often more properly envisioned as the image of a fighter with his sword rather than a balancing scale. In this chapter, Hoffman explores the complexity of how peace and justice might be wedded in international relations, and gives the reader sound starting points for thinking about this conceptual approach.

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