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New Book by Professor Eli McCarthy Provides Framework for Just Peace

Eli McCarthy published his most recent book A Just Peace Ethic Primer, which is comprised of a collection of essays by a diverse group of scholars, that outlines the ethical, theological and activist underpinnings of a just peace ethic.

McCarthy is a professor in the Justice and Peace Studies Program at Georgetown University. This research project is on national and international conflict cases through the lens of a just peace framework.

A Just Peace Ethic Primer illuminates and revises the norms of a just peace ethic through examples of case studies including U.S. immigration, racial and environmental justice and the death penalty.

It also includes an essay on the interdependence of peacebuilding and nonviolent resistance practices, as well as cases of gang violence in El Salvador, the civil war in South Sudan, ISIS in Iraq, gender-based violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo, women-led activism in the Philippines and ethnic violence in Kenya as a way to advocate for the just peace movement.

This book utilizes multicultural aspects of a nonviolent approach to prevent and transform violent conflict. It can be used by not only scholars, but advocates, activists, peacebuilders, government officials, historians, lawyers, media, philosophers and theologians as a framework for implementing a creative vision of sustainable peace.

McCarthy says that the movement itself “offers a critical shift in focus and imagination for creative strategies of active nonviolence to build a more sustainable peace, transform conflict, as well as prevent and break cycles of violence.”

“In the midst of a public health crisis, we can sense more clearly our interconnectedness and interdependence as one human family sharing a common home,” McCarthy says. “A Just Peace Ethic Primer can help us further illuminate and act more in accord with this reality so we may better cultivate sustainable peace.”

McCarthy also says that some of the critical nonviolent skills utilized in the case studies of the book have been taught and applied at Georgetown.

“Those skills are part of an annual training held by the justice and peace program during M.L.K. Day,” he says. It is just one way that the message and practice of nonviolent peacemaking is applied on campus.

More About McCarthy

In addition to this book, McCarthy has also authored Becoming Nonviolent Peacemakers: A Virtue Ethic for Catholic Social Teaching and U.S. Policy and regularly engages in strategic advocacy on federal policy, such as previously in the role of  Director of Justice and Peace for the U.S. Conference of Major Superiors of Men (2012-2020) and presently with the Catholic Labor Network.

-by Shelby Roller (G’19)

Justice and Peace Studies