Toward a New Conception of Socially-Just Peace

in Peace, Culture, and Violence
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Abstract:

In this chapter, I propose an understanding of socially-just peace as sustainable tranquility (peace) through organismic empowerment (social justice), further elaborated as lovingly generous reimagining (peace) intuitively self-overcoming tension (social justice). In other words, peace is the result of imagining things to be different than our usual ways of seeing them, which requires a kind of generosity, which in turn requires a loving comportment. And social justice is the result of tapping into an intuitive type of knowledge, in order to catalyze a kind of self-overcoming of the oppressed, which in turn allows the oppressed to channel the tensions produced by oppression into a means of fighting against it. In my first section, I summarize this new conception. In my second section, I offer etymological analyses of “peace” and “social justice” in support of that conception. In my third section, I sketch three historical analyses germane to both terms in order to flesh out that conception (from King, Aurelius, Arendt, Spinoza, Nietzsche, and Fanon). And in my final section, I apply that new conception to contemporary debates regarding feminism. More specifically, I follow Alison Jaggar’s lead in conceiving the battlefield of gendered justice as containing not only feminists and anti-feminists, but also the potential allies whom Jaggar terms “non-feminists.”

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