Just War and Iraq: Examining the Limitations of the Just War Tradition and the Supplementary Benefits of Just Peacemaking
Citation:KELLY, BRYAN PATRICK, Just War and Iraq: Examining the Limitations of the Just War Tradition and the Supplementary Benefits of Just Peacemaking, Trinity College Dublin.School of Religion, 2021
BPK PhD Submission 2021.pdf (PhD Thesis) 2.506Mb
This study examines the inconsistencies and limitations present within the just war tradition and the potential for just peace to provide supplementary advice in conflict discourse. In light of historical evidence that suggests a disproportionate influence of politics, economics, and power on the moral guidance of just war, this study demonstrates how the contemporary tradition remains inconsistent both in terms of its relationship with power and relative to the base definition of last resort. Contrasting experiences of moral development in the United States and Europe, particularly surrounding religious and nationalist expressions of violence, contextualise the modern inconsistencies found within just war thought and are evidence of the significant limitations in the use of the tradition. The United States asserts a moral permissibility around the use of force as a tool of statecraft derived from foundational references of American exceptionalism. Conversely, the European continent has experienced confessional and nationalist violence that has broadly motivated the exhaustion of non-military means before enacting violent measures. As demonstrated in the 2002-2003 Iraq invasion debate, the current framework of the international community lacks stringent mechanisms for the prevention of unilateral uses of force. If moral wisdom fails to persuade unity among political actors and a state self-proclaims a possession of justice under the just war criteria, both international law and the tradition lack the means to prevent the use of force by such a state. This is particularly the case if said state is a Permanent Member of the Security Council, as evidenced during the Iraq invasion debate. The differing moral experiences surrounding the use of force among western actors prevented a unity in vision, particularly among arguments relative to just cause and last resort. Ultimately, this study promotes just peacemaking as a supplementary moral paradigm to that of just war due to the presence of just peace practices within the historical record of successful conflict resolution processes. The alternative means of coercion found within just peacemaking illuminate a path to conflict resolution during periods when the practitioners of the just war tradition have reached an unreconcilable division of views.
Author: KELLY, BRYAN PATRICK
Publisher:Trinity College Dublin. School of Religion. Irish School of Ecumenics
Type of material:Thesis
Availability:Full text available