The constant mediation of resentment and retaliation

Philosophy and Social Criticism 38 (4-5):351-358 (2012)
This article calls for moral choices and political action to escape the trap of the duality of aggression and resistance, of domination and liberation. Conflict is a permanent feature of human relationships, but violence is not only unproductive in resolving conflict, but can be rendered unnecessary by developing normative resources and institutional mechanisms for mediating conflict. Taking self-determination as a core human value and political reality in today’s globalized world, this article argues that we should reconceive realpolitik to escape the trap by acknowledging the moral choices of others, and striving to be persuasive about our moral choices and political actions. Persuasion, and not violence, provides sustainable mediation of conflict. The article concludes with a brief discussion of the possibilities of mediation of the trap of resentment and retaliation in Dar Fur, Sudan, through multilayered strategies from immediate and short- to long-term action by local, regional and global actors.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453711435645
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