Towards the Deliberative Peace: A Habermasian Critique of Contemporary Peace Operations
Journal of International Relations and Development, 2009
64 Pages Posted: 20 Oct 2008
Date Written: October 9, 2008
A review of the literature on post-Cold War peace operations demonstrates that the international community's record in establishing a self-sustaining peace is mixed. In most cases, international agents have not established legitimate political orders or prevented the recurrence of the fighting. Employing Jorgen Habermas's research, this article differentiates between two theoretical approaches to peace operations: strategic and communicative. Although I use the latter to critique the former, it is important to note that my primary aim is not to promote one theoretical approach. Recognizing the strengths and weaknesses of both approaches, the goal is to explain how theorists and decision-makers should use insights from both approaches to assess existing peace operations and to create new types of operations that may establish self-sustaining political orders. A secondary objective is to introduce the theoretical underpinnings of a society-building strategy, as an intellectual counterweight to state-building efforts, which have dominated post-settlement peace building operations.
Keywords: Peace operations, United Nations, Jorgen Habermas, state-building, society-building
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation