Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2003
Glen H. Stassen
The Unity, Realism, and Obligatoriness of Just Peacemaking Theory
Just peacemaking theory is a new paradigm for Christian ethics alongside just war theory and pacifism. It answers a different question than just war theory and pacifism seek to answer: not the question of justification, but prevention. The ethical norms of just peacemaking are not ideals or principles, but realistic, historically situated practices that are empirically demonstrating their effectiveness in preventing war. They are interactive, community practices that inherently engage in dialogue with diverse others, as befits a postmodern or pluralistic age. By no means does just peacemaking theory predict that there will be no more wars, or that the state is withering away, but it focuses on realistic, empirical evidence that ten historically effective practices are in fact preventing wars, and therefore, they have similar obligatoriness as do the principles of just war theory and pacifism.