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Advanced Introduction to International Conflict and Security Law

Nigel D. White

Advanced Introduction to International Conflict and Security Law provides a concise and insightful guide to the key principles of international law governing peacetime security, the use of force, conflict and post-conflict situations. Nigel D. White explores the complex legal regimes that have been created to control the level of armaments, to limit the occasions when governments can use military force to mitigate the conduct of warfare and to build peace.
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7 Post-conflict law

Nigel D. White

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This chapter is concerned with identifying the legal framework applicable to the post-conflict stage (sometimes known as the jus post bellum) where parties and international actors are primarily concerned with establishing peace and security (normally within a state) and in the longer-term with rebuilding a state that is peaceful internally and externally.

The building blocks of peaceful international relations have been, and continue to be, states. States remain the primary form within which peoples organise themselves. Inter-state peace – the condition of peaceful relations between states – is premised on the existence of stable states. Over the centuries in the search for peace, governments have realised that a system of stable states necessitates a condition of peace within states – intra-state peace. International thinking and, somewhat more reluctantly, international law, have moved from the position of maintaining stability between states, to considering the form and function of states in order to ensure peace within states.1

Following the writings of Immanuel Kant formulated at the end of the eighteenth century, democratic peace theory argues that, since democracies do not wage war on each other, a world consisting solely of democratic states would be a peaceful one.2 The problem with this position is that democracy, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Nevertheless, international law is slowly shifting from the position that effective government provides the key to stable states, towards the idea of the state being based on self-determination, the true expression of the people, reflected in accountable...

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