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Title: "Civil war by other means" : conflict, resistance and coexistence in Colombia : exploring the philosophy and politics of Alasdair MacIntyre in a conflict setting
Author: Chambers, Paul Anthony
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 6367
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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Colombia's protracted civil war between Marxist insurgencies and the state has brought grave consequences for the civilian population and the prospects for constructing a viable political community in the country. With up to 5 million internally displaced people, rampant impunity for perpetrators of crimes against humanity and human rights and International Humanitarian Law violations, dozens of politicians and countless members of the armed forces linked to paramilitary organizations, along with increasing social injustices and inequalities, Colombia presents a troubling social-political panorama that has led to what is often referred to as a profound social and institutional 'moral crisis'. Much discussion has centred on the question of achieving some degree of minimal moral and political consensus and 'collective conscience' to humanize and slowly transform the conflict at local, regional and national levels. However, the philosophical and political parameters of this discussion have been and continue to be set firmly within variants of the liberal tradition which, it is argued, does not provide the necessary resources for adequately conceptualizing the problem and conceiving the task of addressing conflict, constructing moral consensus, and seeking social and political coexistence. The thesis argues that the philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre can provide such resources. MacIntyre provides a convincing account of the philosophical problems that underlie ongoing intractable disagreement and the conflicts it breeds, offering a philosophy that can inform and underpin efforts at social transformation, resistance, and coexistence as well as aiding the necessary task of social scientific research and analysis of the conflict. The thesis analyses the moral dimensions of the conflict in light of MacIntyre's philosophy but also critically explores the adequacy of his politics of local community for the Colombian context. MacIntyre argues that a rational political community can only be constructed through the praxis of local communities engaging in shared moral-political deliberation. Through an empirical case study of a Constituent Assembly process in a rural community that has suffered the impacts of armed conflict for decades, the thesis explores an attempt at constructing peaceful social and political coexistence in light of MacIntyre's moral-sociological framework.
Supervisor: Pearce, Jenny Sponsor: Economic and Social Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Alasdair MacIntyre ; Coexistence ; Colombia ; Conflict ; Consensus ; Ethics ; Local community ; Morality ; Politics ; Social science ; Civil war