Justice, Peace, and History: A Reappraisal

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

According to Keller, we have no hope of explaining what is or is not a Just Peace in global relations unless we pay more attention to the intellectual context in which international law was formed. From its birth in the 16th century, there was a progressive retreat by Europeans from conceding sovereign rights to specific non-European peoples, to then only recognizing a conditional sovereignty, and eventually to denying any right to self-determination of non-white peoples. However, there was a tradition of thought that recognized and accommodated cultural diversity that can be found in the writings of Montesquieu and Rousseau, among others. This chapter argues that these writers proposed one of the cornerstones of the concept of a Just Peace, the principle of recognition. This notion was developed from an effort to understand another’s point of view and an appreciation of otherness.
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DOI 10.1093/0199275351.003.0003
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