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Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

Volume 23, Issue 1, Spring/Summer 2003

Martin L. Cook
Pages 241-253
DOI: 10.5840/jsce200323130

Just Peacemaking: Challenges of Humanitarian Intervention

Just peacemaking proposes that it is a creative "third way" between just war and pacifism for Christian engagement with international affairs. It claims that its proposals result from the convergence of a number of important characteristics of the contemporary international scene that cumulatively make this a "kairos" for novel and creative modes of reflection and action. Further, it claims to offer workable and realistic counsel for action in the contemporary world of international relations. This paper critically assesses both claims. It reviews various interpretations of the direction of contemporary international affairs and raises some cautions about too enthusiastic an embrace of just peacemaking's vision of cooperative internationalism. It then focuses specifically on situations that invite intervention in the name of humanitarian concerns. There, the author finds some elements of just peacemaking to be an important supplement to the capabilities of military forces to intervene effectively and to transition successfully to nation-building activities that are necessary if intervention is to have a lasting positive effect.

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