IOVIS Lecture: New wars, ‘terrorism’, and peacebuilding in the 21st century: Revising or rejecting the Just War Doctrine?

17-05-2018

16:00hr, walk-in with coffee from 15.30

VU, WN-C629

IOVIS Lecture: New wars, ‘terrorism’, and peacebuilding in the 21st century: Revising or rejecting the Just War Doctrine?

Fernando Enns

Faculteit der Sociale Wetenschappen

Sociale wetenschappen

Lezing

The ongoing war in Syria is yet another example of many ethical dilemmas when it comes to the responsibility of the international community in times of conflict.
Traditionally, the ‘Just War Doctrine’ has been applied, developed within Christian-shaped philosophy and ethics over more than 1700 years. In the course of global political developments during the 20th century, this doctrine became more and more questionable, especially during the so-called Cold War. After 1990, we see different developments; on the one hand, the international community started a new debate on so-called „humanitarian intervention“ -  and applied it. This was criticized and further developed which lead to a common understanding of a ‘Responsibility to Protect’. On the other hand, the Just War Theory was revitalized. And there have always been voices speaking against all kind of military violence, f. ex. the World Council of Churches has adopted a counter model of ‘Just Peace’. 

In the end, the international community continues to fail to meet its own attempt to protect basic human rights for all, in particular during violent conflict all around the world. Are there no solutions?

Fernando Enns will discuss some of the basic understandings of Just War over against Just Peace. It will explore the remaining dilemmas around the concept on ‘Responsibility to Protect’ and introduce a new model of ‘Just Policing’ for international conflicts. 

Fernando Enns is professor of Theology and Ethics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and director of the Amsterdam Centre for Religion and Peace & Justice Studies.