The Role of Jus Post Bellum in the 21st Century
The category of jus post bellum (jpb, postwar justice and peace) is a welcome addition to discussions of the justice of war. The goal of this dissertation is to review the significance of this recent development within the just war tradition. This project is based on a proposition that just war should aim at just peace; peace does not mean the absence of armed conflict, but it requires the establishment of justice. There is no true peace if it exists for the strong but not for the weak, for the victor but not for the vanquished. At the heart of jpb is the establishment of a just peace. With this preliminary proposition in mind, this dissertation endeavors to challenge the view of those who argue that reconciliation, mainly political reconciliation, is the first and foremost ambition of jpb. Instead, it attempts to justify the proposition that achieving just policing, just punishment, and just political participation are key to building a just peace, of which the fundamental characteristic must be human security. In the immediate aftermath of war there is little or no policing, punishment, or avenues for political participation to protect the civilians of defeated states, especially the most vulnerable ones. Therefore, this project argues (i) that human security is a neglected theme in the discourse of moral and theological intellectual traditions; and (ii) that a more balanced understanding of jpb must pay direct attention to the elements comprising human security in a postwar context as well as the quest for reconciliation. In particular, holding a realistic view that war is inherently destructive of people, institutions, and infrastructure, this project focuses on justice in reconstruction—reconstruction of just policing, just punishment, and just political participation. This destruction raises questions about the fulfillment of justice in the damaged postwar society. Considering these issues through the lens of human security and political reconciliation theories, I propose my “maxim(um) of ethical minimalism” for jpb—the principle of achieving to the highest extent possible human security, which is the necessary and essential outcome for jpb. It is the norm for jpb of achieving the common good to the highest extent possible, with priority on human security, using nonviolent means insofar as possible and violent means when necessary. This proposal contends that determination of the content of the responsibilities for just war reconstruction should be specified on the basis of the damage to relationships that need to be not merely restored, but also fundamentally transformed in the postwar society that prevents future threats. This thesis pays particular attention to civil society peacebuilding, which needs to be considered only to the extent that it is an objective of the postwar discussion and to the extent it is affected by jpb decisions. Yet, my primary thesis is that this transformative vision of jpb should be distinguished from an extensive buildup of a civil society scheme, which requires a wider and longer range of peacebuilding efforts. Instead, it must be tempered by realism in a careful and concrete manner, since the priority should be given to human security in the immediate aftermath of war. This study is an exercise in applied political ethics that employs various disciplines—security studies, international law, and peacebuilding work—to address the topic of jpb as a means of illuminating the theological discourse. Plainly, I employ this literature to explore how contemporary scholars view the idea of jpb and how this relatively new development fits within the Christian tradition of just war, a moral tradition that is historically interdisciplinary. Further, this attempt is a valuable contribution to the just war tradition by identifying what I view as three key themes of jpb, namely, three practices that are essential to implementing jpb immediately after a war: just policing, just punishment, and just political participation. While examining the interrelated challenges of moral and social norms in both political and legal domains, this dissertation proposes an innovative methodology for linking theology, ethics, and social science so that the ideal and the real can inform each other in the ethics of war and peacebuilding.