Abstract and Keywords
This chapter focuses on the role of the comparative study of ethics in peacebuilding. The argument proceeds as follows. First, comparative ethics is presented primarily as a hermeneutical discipline, in which the goal is to answer the question “what is going on?” in a particular context. Second, the chapter analyzes changes in Muslim discourse about war. These point to a deep political crisis. Third, the chapter turns to an analysis of the virtues necessary for those who undertake to build peace in such a context. The example of Dag Hammerskjold serves to make the point that, among other virtues, peacebulding requires the wisdom to identify “provisional solutions”, which at times will include a judicious use of military force. The chapter concludes with the suggestion that the vocabularies of jihad, just war, and other frameworks may yet play a constructive role in the building of peace.
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