v8n1_03 - From Foes to Bedfellows: Reconciling Security and...

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The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations From Foes to Bedfellows: Reconciling Security and Justice by Jean-Marc Coicaud and Jibecke Jönsson T his article aims to show how and why justice is, and should be, an integral part of security, and why this relationship is important to address, especially in the international context. It does so, first, by arguing that the current model of international security, by disconnecting the quest for security from the pursuit of justice, is self-defeating. As long as the contribution that justice can make to security is overlooked, international order, let alone international security, will not be achieved. Second, the article looks more closely at why and how justice is key to security. Taking justice seriously in the context of international security is particularly challenging because of the national bent, which states impose upon international relations. 1 Third, the article points to a few measures that could help to better embed security and justice at the international level. In this regard, while suggestions are made for how international policymakers are to advance the idea of an international rule of law, it is also pointed out how this development is to be paralleled by continuous efforts to foster certain attitudes and values within people and societies of the international community. Finally, questioning if today’s culture and decision- makers are actually prone to truly dovetail justice and security, the article concludes with some words of cautious optimism. L IMITS OF THE C URRENT M ODEL OF I NTERNATIONAL S ECURITY Security is not simply a primary right, but it is the primary right of persons from which all others derive, and on which all others depend. 2 It is the primary right that, at least ideally, serves to protect the human right to life in a peaceful society. 3 Short of benefiting from security and peace, the very existence of persons is impeded— their ability to subsist, develop, and flourish. In other words, “[l]asting peace is a prerequisite for the exercise of all human rights and duties.” 4 Consider the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In its first article, it states that “[a]ll human beings are born free and equal […]” and they “should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.” It is from the very outset acknowledged that the most fundamental of human rights is conditioned by the relations that humans have to other humans. Jean-Marc Coicaud heads the United Nations University (UNU) Office in New York. Previously, he served as a speechwriter for former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, as well as a senior academic officer in the Peace and Governance Program of the UNU in Tokyo. He is well published in the fields of comparative politics, political theory, and international relations. Jibecke Jönsson
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This note was uploaded on 02/01/2012 for the course INTERNATIO 101 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '09 term at Boise State.

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v8n1_03 - From Foes to Bedfellows: Reconciling Security and...

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