JUST PEACE through Feminist Epistemology: Inclusive Borders without Inclusive Boots

Creating just peace and other common goods that are common in both appearance and substance requires a thick, rather than thin, form of inclusion. In particular, substantive inclusion defines common goods deeply by seeking, valuing, and integrating diverse viewpoints (ensuring inclusive “roots”); this goes beyond the seductive alternative which merely extends narrowly defined goods to a wide membership (ensuring inclusive “borders”).

For example, the US military operations abroad have broad borders, extending around the world, and can be interpreted in positive terms because of this thin form of inclusion (e.g. protector of the world). A critical lens, however, highlights how it is rooted more shallowly in US government interpretations of national interests (e.g. national security).

Similarly, “human” rights are at least formally extended widely to all human beings. However, it took a “women’s rights as human rights” campaign in the 1980s and 1990s for violence against women to be interpreted as a violation of their human rights.

As both cases indicate, “inclusion” can be seductive rather than straightforward if it involves inclusive borders (a thin, additive form of inclusion) without inclusive roots (a thick, transformative form of inclusion).

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