Forgiveness and Reconciliation in <i>Jus Post Bellum</i>

Andrew Rigby

in Just War Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780748620746
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672042 | DOI:
Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Jus Post Bellum

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Until recently, just war theory has rarely, if ever, engaged with questions about what practices might be required to build the just peace for which a just war should have been waged. Most of the literature on post-conflict social reconstruction has not been concerned with issues of whether there was any justification to the conflicts in question. This chapter brings these debates together by arguing that a just and durable post-conflict peace requires a variety of processes to heal the scars of war sufficiently to open up the possibilities of future peaceful and just co-existence between former enemies. Operating with the non-ideal concept of a peace which is “just enough”, this chapter discusses examples – drawn from numerous conflicts and the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in particular – of “memory” or “forgiveness” work as some ways in which former enemies have “dealt with the past” in pursuit of some form of reconciliation. Although context-sensitivity is crucial, some general guidelines can be drawn from such analyses which could provide a peacebuilding framework for jus post bellum.

Keywords: Just and durable peace; Jus post bellum; Post-conflict reconstruction; Forgiveness; Reconciliation; Rwanda; Genocide; Memory work

Chapter.  9301 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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