I am SO HAPPY to share with you Janet Gerson's new book: Reclaimative Post-Conflict Justice: Democratizing Justice in the World Tribunal on Iraq.
Janet's deep commitment to peace has been so inspiring to me.
It's easy to feel daunted and "too small" and "what can I possibly do" about world peace, and yet Janet shows up and works hard and brings her all to the process of peace.
We can all learn a lot from her.
Janet is a long-time participant in Dream Book, and she says the Creative Dream Incubator has been instrumental in helping her pursue this accomplishment. Yay!
I know that a lot of you have books in you to share, and I hope Janet's success helps inspire you.
Drs. Janet Gerson and Dale Snauwaert’s forthcoming book Reclaimative Post-Conflict Justice: Democratizing Justice in the World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) examines the historic case of the WTI’s global civil society tribunal, a creative collaboration organized non-hierarchically to record, analyse, and demand accountability for the 2003 war and occupation of Iraq. Reclaimative post-conflict justice is a new conception for grounding the revitalization of democratic ethics underlying justice and peace. Previous scholarship on post-conflict justice tribunals has been conceptualized along two lines, retributive as exemplified by the Nuremberg Tribunal after World War II or restorative as exemplified by the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The WTI enacted a third form, reclaimative post-conflict justice. The WTI’s purpose was not to punishment, nor the restoration of political legitimacy, nor clarification of Iraq’s boundaries, but to enact a democratizing and deliberative model, which exemplifies a dialogical turn in various methodologies of normative justification. Reclaimative justice and its democratic tribunal form exemplified by the WTI are basic elements of post-conflict justice, in that they constitute a methodological procedure necessary for the normative justification and thereby appropriate for key tribunal questions of legitimacy, legality, and accountability, and agency. In this way reclaimative democratizing justice as organized through the WTI’s deliberative and democratizing processes aligns with the methodological procedures of contemporary normative theories of justice.
What was your inspiration for writing the book?
The World Tribunal on Iraq (WTI) was an outstanding global people’s tribunal, one that documented what no government or official institution acknowledged – the illegitimacy and illegality of the Iraq War and occupation. The WTI modelled positive globalization as peace action -- global citizens coordinating justice as accountability, agency, and responsibility.
What does your book do differently to similar titles?
Citizens and people’s tribunals typically publish documentation of their forums. However, Reclaimative Justice places the WTI within the ethical and historical contexts of exemplar tribunals -- retributive, restorative, and alternative. The World Tribunal on Iraq (Sökmen, Ed., 2008) documentary text provides a history of the Iraq war and occupation from the perspectives of international law and state sovereignty, but importantly from violations against people of Iraq, the environment, cultural history, and of global civil society for the right to peace. This book brings out what is most innovative about the WTI’s “creative assertion” – how the WTI Coordination used a democratic ethic of participation, non-hierarchical organizing, deliberation, and consensus decision-making to demonstrate how non-domination, communicative action, and nonviolence can be the basis of justice.
What new insights has the book revealed?
Reclaimative democratizing justice in the WTI demonstrates the necessity of transnational interdependence and a global civic culture for conceptualizing democracy and justice. In the modern era, democracy and justice have been couched in the context of the nation-state. However, the increasing recognition of various dimensions of transnational interdependence -- economic, political, legal, ethical, cultural, and ecological -- suggests that our national conceptions of democracy and justice are outdated. The WTI brought together thousands of people from all over the world, from diverse disciplines, experiences, and even ideologies. The WTI instantiated in practice many of the ideas concerning global democracy and justice that we have understood to have philosophical validity based upon reasoned argument and the standards of normative justification that that reasoning is based upon. It constitutes an enactment of fundamental normative principles that are of great significance for the ongoing pursuit of democracy and justice, locally and globally.