Ethics, Rhetoric and Politics of Post-conflict Reconstruction
How Can the Concept of Social Contract Help Us in Understanding How to Make Peace Work?
Since existing injustices and the quest for justice are seen to be the main causes for violent clashes, it is often claimed that the restoration of justice must be the most important goal of post-conflict reconstruction. However, the current policy approaches, social movements and theoretical models for conflict resolution tend to look at justice from merely technical point of view, as a rapid fix to overcome war and violence. This relates the notion of ‘peace’ to ‘security’ and replaces the concept of ‘justice’ with the concepts of ‘law and order’. Restoration of justice, however, does not merely mean requirement of impartiality. This paper presents an ethical analysis on the relationship between the rule of law, social justice, the principle of impartiality and social cohesion in a post-conflict society by examining the problems of the social contract approach through communitarian and feminist critiques. The aim of the paper is to map out the ethical dilemmas involved in peace negations based on ‘constructing’ or ‘restoring’ justice in a society, and to guide a way towards more a comprehensive framework of ethics of justice for post-conflict reconstruction.