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"Civil war by other means": Conflict, resistance and coexistence in Colombia. Exploring the philosophy and politics of Alasdair MacIntyre in a conflict setting

By Paul A. Chambers


Colombia's protracted civil war between Marxist insurgencies and the state has\ud brought grave consequences for the civilian population and the prospects for\ud constructing a viable political community in the country. With up to 5 million\ud internally displaced people, rampant impunity for perpetrators of crimes against\ud humanity and human rights and International Humanitarian Law violations,\ud dozens of politicians and countless members of the armed forces linked to\ud paramilitary organizations, along with increasing social injustices and\ud inequalities, Colombia presents a troubling social-political panorama that has\ud led to what is often referred to as a profound social and institutional 'moral\ud crisis'. Much discussion has centred on the question of achieving some degree\ud of minimal moral and political consensus and 'collective conscience' to\ud humanize and slowly transform the conflict at local, regional and national levels.\ud However, the philosophical and political parameters of this discussion have\ud been and continue to be set firmly within variants of the liberal tradition which, it\ud is argued, does not provide the necessary resources for adequately\ud conceptualizing the problem and conceiving the task of addressing conflict,\ud constructing moral consensus, and seeking social and political coexistence. The\ud thesis argues that the philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre can provide such\ud resources. MacIntyre provides a convincing account of the philosophical\ud problems that underlie ongoing intractable disagreement and the conflicts it\ud breeds, offering a philosophy that can inform and underpin efforts at social\ud transformation, resistance, and coexistence as well as aiding the necessary\ud task of social scientific research and analysis of the conflict. The thesis analyses\ud the moral dimensions of the conflict in light of MacIntyre's philosophy but also\ud critically explores the adequacy of his politics of local community for the\ud Colombian context. MacIntyre argues that a rational political community can\ud only be constructed through the praxis of local communities engaging in shared\ud moral-political deliberation. Through an empirical case study of a Constituent\ud Assembly process in a rural community that has suffered the impacts of armed\ud conflict for decades, the thesis explores an attempt at constructing peaceful\ud social and political coexistence in light of MacIntyre's moral-sociological\ud framework.Economic and Social Research Counci

Topics: Alasdair MacIntyre, ; Coexistence, ; Colombia, ; Conflict, ; Consensus, ; Ethics, ; Local community, ; Morality, ; Politics, ; Social science, ; Civil war
Publisher: Department of Peace Studies
Year: 2011
OAI identifier:
Provided by: Bradford Scholars

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