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articles
1. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Cynthia Simmons, Faith Communities: Fostering Civil Society in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia?
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Post-communist Eastern and Central Europe has witnessed a rise in ethnonationalism. The struggle of identity formation has often involved a re/turn to traditional, or even fundamentalist, religious practices that are authoritarian and patriarchal. Faith communities within such a sway often undermine the organs of society that ideally in a democracy negotiate between the government and the citizenry, the domain of civil society.Since the end of the civil war of 1992-1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) has struggled under the constraints of the Dayton Peace Agreement, which institutionalized a tri-partite government along ethno-national lines. Today this country lags behind every successor state of Yugoslavia (measured by GDP per capita), and political instability continues to thwart hopes for EU ascension. A civil society that fosters a critical citizenry offers hope for support of constitutional amendments that would recreate and support a functioning multiethnic state. Despite the common association of faith communities and ethno-nationalism, some work, usually “on the ground,” to create a civil society that engages both the political and religious hierarchies.The representatives of faith communities considered here, in BiH and Croatia, who must maintain a lower profile politically, receive, consequently, less attention in the international arena. Yet, their work provides crucial support for European integration and open societies in the region and deserves special attention now, when the threat to their work is on the rise.
2. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
George N. Fourlas, A Politics of Reconciliation: Trust, Legitimacy, and the Need For Truth Commissions
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In this essay I defend a politics of reconciliation as a means of addressing conflict in the hopes of realizing a legitimate ethical-political reality, which is one based in a common and explicit trust. The ideal guiding this model of reconciliation is the affordance of peaceful and reciprocal meaning making or dialogical relations; that is, I understand reconciliation to be both the formation of the conditions of the possibility of cooperative meaning making, insofar as it involves the creation of the secure conditions needed to reestablish basic forms of trust between conflicting persons, and eventually the cooperative meaning making itself that leads to deeper forms of trust such as friendship or solidarity. Insofar as trust is crucial to the health of a democratic political system, a politics of reconciliation is needed in realizing this fundamental relationship, and this politic requires the enactment of a permanent reconciliatory apparatus.
3. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Ibanga B. Ikpe, Between the Just and the Expedient: The Problem of Conflict Resolution in Africa
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This paper is about African conflicts and their tendency to persist despite attempts to resolve them. Such persistence has in the past been attributed to various causes but it is the contention of this paper that African conflicts fester due to poor governance and thereafter persist and recur because the issues that led to the conflict are not adequately addressed in the course of resolving the conflict. To justify this position, the paper attempts a classification and analysis of what it considers to be recurring patterns in the conflict processes of some post-independence African states and also attempts a classification and analysis of efforts at resolving them. It argues that the expedient is often promoted over equity in the management of African conflicts and that mediators and facilitators routinely disregard the underlying issues of the conflict in their haste to abstract an agreement from the parties. It posits that some of the compromises that are extracted from the parties fail to meet their basic expectations and thus force them into a temporary peace that is abandoned at the earliest opportunity. The paper concludes that lasting peace is only feasible when issues of justice and equity are given priority of place and the parties are accorded sustained assistance as they embark on national reconciliation.
4. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
William DeGenaro, War, Peace, and Neoliberalism: The Jihadi Rhetoric Machine
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As a site of historic preservation, the “Hezbollah Museum,” as the Mleeta Resistance Landmark in South Lebanon is often called, engages in rhetorical invention on multiple levels: 1) generating a partisan story about the complicated, ongoing war between factions Mleeta calls the Zionists and the Resistance; and 2) creating a public space for the performance of persuasive political discourse about the resistance as an empowered, efficient, successful, and righteous social movement. The rhetorical utterances generated at Mleeta serve propaganda, prowar, sectarian ends, to be sure, but that rhetoric is also rooted in an increasingly neoliberal ideology and surrounded by neoliberal trappings, which creates a striking juxtaposition of gloss and extremism.
5. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Alon Segev, Hannah Arendt’s Jewish Writings
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The purpose of this article is, firstly, to expose the basic assumption in Hannah Arendt’s The Jewish Writings, and, secondly, to discuss her critique of Jewish life and the Zionist entity—later the Jewish state—in Palestine. As I will suggest, her basic assumption is that politics can exist only as a dynamic process, as an interplay between different players with different worldviews and interests. Thus, politics cannot be reduced to a state of inertia, what Arendt calls “inalterable substance.” According to Arendt, adherence to such inertia leads to the destruction of politics and the loss of any chance to conduct a normal and fully productive life. As it turned out, the Zionist movement was fixed from its very inception in a state of inertia and thus introduced into its own definition a permanent antagonism toward other nations. As a result, Israel is in a permanent state of war and conflict, in danger of being annihilated, in a perpetual arms race, and is degenerating into a modern Sparta. The nation-state is an embodiment of the state of inertia. Arendt believes that it is only by adopting a federal system instead of a nation-state system that the Zionist enterprise could turn into a dynamic political process and a place where one can conduct a productive and fruitful life. I will firstly present Arendt’s main claims and then criticize them, pointing at the merits and fl aws in her thesis.
6. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Thomas M. Kelly, Remembering the UCA Martyrs: Education and Evangelical Conscientization in Collaboration with Rutilio Grande, S.J.
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Rutilio Grande, S.J. was the first priest assassinated in El Salvador on March 12, 1977. He was targeted for his work with the poor as he applied Vatican II and the Medellín conference to his own reality in El Salvador. Grande’s progressive, creative and ultimately transformative ministry with the rural poor was aided by the UCA Jesuits with whom he partnered. Through his pastoral strategy of listening to communities, using the social sciences to understand their reality and embracing a pedagogy of conscientization, Grande challenged traditional pastoral strategies in El Salvador by collaborating with the UCA Jesuits. Ultimately, these commitments to helping Grande organize and educate rural agricultural workers contributed to government persecution and their eventual death at the hands of the Salvadoran military.
7. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Noha Shawki, ‘The Work that Makes all Other Work Possible’: Domestic Work and Contemporary Domestic Worker Organizing for Justice and Dignity in the United States
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This article analyzes the movement seeking to improve labor and human rights protections for domestic workers in the U.S. Drawing on theoretical formulations from the social movement literature, the article develops a theoretically informed account of the ways in which the movement was effective in engaging domestic workers and securing a number of political and legislative victories in recent years. I argue that organizing efforts that provide members of marginalized groups, such as domestic workers, opportunities to meet and interact and that focus on leadership development and empowerment can help create an oppositional consciousness and a group perspective among group members and increase their level of political engagement. I demonstrate that this was the case for the domestic worker movement in the U.S. This case study provides an example of how social movements can provide representation to marginalized groups and bring about progressive change in social policy.
book reviews
8. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Liz Heckman, Rethinking Prison Reentry: Transforming Humiliation Into Humility
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9. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Arthur Purcaro, Structures of Grace: Catholic Organizations Serving the Global Common
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10. Journal for Peace and Justice Studies: Volume > 25 > Issue: 2
Andrew Fitz-Gibbon, Understanding Nonviolence: Contours and Contexts
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