The Ethics of Liberal Peacebuilding

Book chapter

Lidén, Kristoffer (2021) The Ethics of Liberal Peacebuilding, in The Oxford Handbook of Peacebuilding, Statebuilding, and Peace Formation. Oxford: Oxford University Press (42–58).

Publisher's webpage

This chapter explores the normative underpinnings of the scholarly debate on liberal peacebuilding and situates them within international ethics. The debate is relevant for the ethics of global governance more broadly by addressing a theoretical gray zone between the ethics of international intervention and state sovereignty. The chapter argues that instead of rejecting the liberal internationalist objectives of peacebuilding, the critics tend to deny the coherence of liberal peacebuilding with these objectives. This is exemplified by relating the critique to the prevalent positions of John Rawls, Michael Walzer, and Simon Caney in international ethics. The critique challenges descriptive presuppositions of these positions by drawing on critical, poststructural, and postcolonial perspectives.

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