Jus Post Bellum and the Pottery Barn Rule: Defining Just Peace in A Post-Westphalian World
Bryant, Susan Francis
The purpose of this thesis is several fold. First, it considers the emerging concept of jus post bellum (justice after war). Second, it analyzes and compares the way the topic is being considered in three discrete academic fields: philosophy, international law and security studies. Third, from this analysis, it determines whether this concept belongs as a third strand of the classic just war tradition. Finally, this thesis makes policy-oriented recommendations regarding the application of this idea to ongoing and emerging conflicts.The predominant conception of jus post bellum in this study is that of the so-called "Pottery Barn Rule." Specifically, the rule encapsulates the idea that the victor has obligations to the defeated state and its citizens. These obligations include repairing what has been damaged or destroyed as a result of the conflict and leaving the defeated state as a functioning member of international society. An increasingly common reference, this rule constitutes both a single interpretation of and a useful gateway into a larger and more complex topic, that of jus post bellum.This thesis is underpinned by constructivism, the view that "the structures of human association are determined primarily by ideas rather than material forces." Specifically it has analyzed the evolving norms surrounding the concept of warfare in the post-Cold War era, and how these norms have changed international society's expectations as to how wars should end.The overarching conclusion of this thesis is that the norms of war have changed. There is now an expectation that warfare and humanitarian interventions undertaken by western liberal democracies will be concluded with post-war reconstruction and transformation projects. This conclusion rests on the concept of international legitimacy, along with the conclusion that there has been a de-legitimation of warfare as an instrument of policy during post-World War II era.This thesis also concludes that Clausewitz's famous dictum that "war is a continuation of policy by other means," remains valid, but requires significant and sometimes unprecedented caveats in contemporary practice. Under the UN Charter system, warfare is a highly regulated legal event. It is only a legitimate instrument of policy when conducted within the existing legal paradigm. These boundaries constitute the contemporary codification of jus ad bellum and jus in bello.This thesis also revealed a significant divide as to the proper principal point of reference regarding the issue of jus post bellum and contemporary warfare. This divide is between those scholars who undertake a state centric approach versus those who undertake a cosmopolitan one. This fundamental divide accounts in large part for the range of recommendations regarding the proper scope of jus post bellum. Further, international law is currently codified to ensure state security, rather than human security. However, contemporary political philosophy and the expanded approach to security studies have irreversibly introduced and emphasized the importance of human security.The final conclusion of this thesis deals specifically with "The Pottery Barn Rule." The punch line of this rule - You broke it, you bought it - is incorrect. Many of the situations into which the U.S., other western states, and the UN have decided to intervene were non-functional long before the intervention occurred. The rule is more aptly stated -You touch it, you own it - This is the expectation in contemporary international society. In this sense, the legal construct of neutrality is alive and well. Obligations/expectations only apply if a state makes the decision to intervene. However, once intervention has been undertaken, the expectations are high and international society is watching closely.This revision of "The Pottery Barn Rule" is more problematic and risky for states; it implies that a state doesn't have "to break it to own it." In fact, it doesn't have to be involved at all when it's "broken." However, when every contemporary norm, as well as overwhelming domestic political pressure demands that a government "do something," the intervening state must understand that a decision to "do something" is the equivalent of taking responsibility for "everything." The policy implications of this are enormous when considering military action or humanitarian intervention.
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The Ethical Analysis of War in a Post-Cold War World: The Persian Gulf War and Beyond Review of Interpretations of Conflicts: Ethics, Pacifism, and the Just-War Tradition, by Richard B. Miller; Just War and the Gulf War, by James Turner Johnson and George Weigel; Lines in the Sand: Justice and the Gulf War, by Alan Geyer and Barbara G. Green Reid, Charles J., Jr. (1992-09)