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Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm Essay


Pacifism, which implies that no war is or could be just, has in recent years received considerable attention from academics and war theorists as the world seems to reel from one armed conflict to another. The doctrine, however, has received loads of disparagements from critics, who advance lopsided discourses and justifications of going to war under the tenets of the just war theories (Charles 336).

Although there are diverse conceptions of pacifism which seems to ignite diverse reactions from professionals and the general public, ranging from outright impracticability to differences in geopolitical realities, this paper will argue from the standpoint that pacifism is indeed a viable alternative in the modern international realm.

Although some nations have been noted to progress unorthodox activities such as state-sponsored terrorism and actions of sabotage, the kind of violence and killing that armed confrontations instigate in the name of military interventions is insurmountably objectionable (Alexandra 590).

When war is evaluated against the backdrop of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction currently in the hands of state actors as well as non-state operatives, it will dawn on many that searching for peaceful means to resolve the conflicts that continue to affect the modern world is the only way to go as doing otherwise, especially engaging the military to use such weapons on civilian populations, is intrinsically immoral (Charles 336).

One of the strong areas of pacifism is its “…commitment to peace-building and to finding alternatives to war and violence as responses to social and political conflict” (Atack 1). On this account, according to this author, pacifism strives to abolish armed conflicts through the employment of absolutely nonviolent methodologies to decisively deal with social and political conflict, whether arising internally or between nations.

Peace-building is an inherent good, while war is seen in the eyes of many as not only unfair, but also costly in terms financial, emotional, demographic, and practical variables (Alexandra 595). What’s more, peace is more conducive to the welfare of people than the employment of any violence or forceful means under the disguise of promoting world peace. In consequence, major players on the world scene must look for peaceful mechanisms, including arbitration and sanctions, to tame the aggressors of peace, and in no time should human interactions be governed by violent or belligerent relations.

Arguing from a consequentialist or utilitarian perspective of pacifism, it is clear that the world should embrace nonviolent means to deal with conflicts by virtue of the fact that the benefits brought by engaging in violence, force or war are far much less than evils that such engagements may bring to the participants as well as to the civilian population (Mosley para. 25).

The lessons learnt from the U.S. invasion of Iraq under President Bush preemption and prevention strategy are still fresh, and the consequences of using such strategies will go down the annals of history as one of the most inhumane by virtue of the fact that the war has shattered many families, not mentioning the casualties involved.

Exercising peaceful means to solve the Iraq problem, if there was any, could have prevented such odious bloodshed. Today, many political analysts are of the opinion that America is now less safe than it was before the invasion, courtesy of using a conflict resolution approach that occasioned more harm than good. This observation demonstrates why world players must employ pacifism as a moral alternative so as to maintain and safeguard world peace.

Works Cited

Alexandra, A. Political Pacifism. Social Theory & Practice 29.4 (2003): 589-606. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

Atack, I. Pacifism and Nonviolence: Complementary or Contradictory? 2008. Web.

Charles, J.D. Presumption against War or Presumption against Injustice?: The Just War Tradition Reconsidered. Journal of Church & State 47.2 (2005): 335-369. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier Database.

Mosley, A. Pacifism. Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2005. Retrieved from <>

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IvyPanda. (2019, March 21). Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/just-war-revisited-why-pacifism-qualifies-as-a-viable-alternative-in-the-modern-international-realm/

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"Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm." IvyPanda, 21 Mar. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/just-war-revisited-why-pacifism-qualifies-as-a-viable-alternative-in-the-modern-international-realm/.

1. IvyPanda. "Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm." March 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/just-war-revisited-why-pacifism-qualifies-as-a-viable-alternative-in-the-modern-international-realm/.


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IvyPanda. "Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm." March 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/just-war-revisited-why-pacifism-qualifies-as-a-viable-alternative-in-the-modern-international-realm/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm." March 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/just-war-revisited-why-pacifism-qualifies-as-a-viable-alternative-in-the-modern-international-realm/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Just War Revisited: Why Pacifism Qualifies as a Viable Alternative in the Modern International Realm'. 21 March.

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