Peacemaking, Religious Belief and the Rule of Law
The Struggle between Dictatorship and Democracy in Syria and Beyond
This book offers a new way of understanding the role of the mediator in teaching parties the interrelationship between sustainable peace, forgiveness, and international justice. It argues that the arrival of social media presents new opportunities for reaching sustainable peace agreements, through their use in gathering the detailed information that can match victims and perpetrators of past atrocities.
The author aims to advance a more expansive understanding of the subjects and limitations of making peace in the shadow of international law by examining the concepts of mediation and forgiveness that exist alongside law. To that end, the book offers an account of the role of the mediator that emerges from the interplay between Ricouerian imagination and forgiveness and predicts ever-greater opportunities for making peace and protecting human rights that can be facilitated by a harnessing of social media as a tool for making peace with justice.
The author also aims to examine how strategies for sustaining the peace must combat the inevitable frustrations with democracy that can lead to a slide into dictatorship. Assad, Obama, and the UN leadership and their decisions concerning making and maintaining peace in Syria are used as case studies to examine the interplay between a leaders’ religious beliefs, faith in democracy and rule of law, and impulses towards totalitarianism.
Table of Contents
Part I: The US, UN and the Syrian Conflict: The Role of Religion and the Dictator/Democracy Dilemma
Chapter 1. The History of US Syrian relations: The Role of Bashar al-Assad
Chapter 2: The History of US relations with Syria: The Role of Obama—and Now Trump
Chapter 3: UN and NGO Peacemaking Efforts
Chapter 4: Options for a Constitution-Based Transition in Syria: The Russian Draft and A Problem-Solving Approach
Part II: A Moral Theory for Peacemaking with Justice: History, Imagination, and Forgiveness on an International Stage
Chapter 5: History and Imagination: The Hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur
Chapter 6: Justice and Forgiveness
Part III: The Potential Impact of Social Media on Peacemaking in Syria
Chapter 7: Social Media and Conflict Mapping in Syria: Implications for Peacemaking, International Criminal Prosecutions and for TRC Processes.
Chapter 8: Conclusion
Paul J. Zwier is Professor of Law, Dr. Center for Advocacy and Dispute Resolution at Emory University School of Law.