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From the Editors: Conflict and Conciliation

October 5, 2023

Dear readers,

Thank you for reading the Spring 2023 issue of the Jackson School Journal of International Studies. 

We started work on this issue not long after the Russian invasion of Ukraine; as of writing, the war has continued into a bitter second year. Just as the war has reconfigured foreign policy priorities over the last year–from a ‘zeitenwende’ in German defense policy to the growing clout of the developing world’s middle powers–we anticipate that it will have a lasting impact. For one, the war has heightened the sense of urgency around deterring armed conflict. And even when hostilities cease, difficult questions about conciliation and social reconstruction lie ahead for the Ukrainian and Russian people.

With that in mind, we have focused this issue on conflict and conciliation. Vanessa Zelenović writes about post-conflict reconciliation in the European context, offering analysis of how EU institutions supported reconciliation processes in parts of Europe–including the Balkans, the last major battlefield in continental Europe. Rachel Blair writes about military justice in Chile and how military jurisdiction in human rights cases relates to the country’s post-Pinochet social progress.

Following the articles, our Expert Insights section (which features interviews of distinguished visitors) draws these conversations into the present. We ask former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch to conceptualize a just conclusion to the war in Ukraine and discuss U.S.-led support for the country’s war effort. And we speak with Congressman Adam Smith, then-Chair of the House Armed Services Committee, about the prospects for arms control and the specter of great power competition.

Armed conflict can be a dispiriting topic. It has been a disappointing couple of decades, perhaps, for those who hoped that economic integration and democratic expansion would inch us closer to a ‘perpetual peace’. Even then, the works in this issue offer a kind of optimism about how societies can deter and emerge from conflict. And they illuminate why studying war matters–because a world without it is still within our reach.

Phillip Meng, Jingyi Pan, Casper Pei-Shen Suen, and Wendi Zhou
The 2022-23 Editorial Board

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Article featured in:

Volume 11, Issue 1 (Spring/Summer 2023)

Volume 11, Number 1. Summer 2023

Jackson School Journal Vol. 11 cover