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Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics


     Justice and Reconciliation in World Politics is a study in normative and critical theory of how to conceptualize practices of justice and reconciliation that aim to respond to colonial injustices in international and transnational contexts. Examining cases of colonial war, genocide, forced sexual labour, forcible incorporation, and dispossession, this book highlights the structural injustices involved in colonialism, based on race, class, and gender, and shows the inadequacies of interactional modes of redress. Contemporary responsibility for redressing colonial structural injustice entails strategies of decolonization, decentering, and disalienation that go beyond interactional practices of accountability and reparation, beyond victims and perpetrators, and beyond a statist world order.

Awarded the 2018 Robert L. Jervis and Paul W. Schroeder Best Book Award in International History and Politics, by the International History and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association (APSA).

Winner of the 2018 Yale H. Ferguson Award of the International Studies Association - Northeast Region.

Co-winner of the 2018 Sussex International Theory Prize by the Centre for Advanced International Theory (CAIT), University of Sussex


Winner of the 2019 Best Book Award of the International Ethics Section of the International Studies Association.

Shortlisted for the 2018 C.B. Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association.


Book symposium in Ethics & Global Politics 11, 1 (2018), with commentaries by Paige Digeser, Farid Abdel-Nour, Avigail Eisenberg, and Laurel Weldon.

Stilz, Anna, Criminal Law and Philosophy (2018).

Archibugi, Daniele, International Affairs, 94, 4 (July 2018), pp. 924–925.

Grosser, Pierre, ‘Crimes du passé : justice et réconciliation ne suffisent pas’, Phébé (July 2018), en français.

Magali Bessone, « Des injustices qui ne passent pas », La Vie des idées , 27 septembre 2018. ISSN : 2105-3030.

(English translation by Kate McNaughton) M. Bessone, Injustices that will not pass,’ Books and Ideas, 21 February 2019. ISSN : 2105-3030.

Reetta Humalajoki, in  Teologinen Aikakauskirja  (Finnish Journal of Theology), April 2018, 364-366. (In Finnish.)

Marija Antanaviciute, in LSE Review of Books, 6 March 2019.

Corey Snelgrove, in Canadian Journal of Political Science, 9 May 2019 (early view on-line).

Book symposium in Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 23, Issue 4 (May 2020). With Introduction by Peter Niesen, and Commentaries by Alasia Nuti, Reinhard Wolf, and Kimberly Hutchings, with author's reply. (Online May/June 2019.)

Joe Hoover, 'Taking Responsibility in an Unjust World, ' Journal of International Political Theory, 16, 1 (2020): 106-118.

Book symposium in Global Justice: Theory Practice Rhetoric, vol. 11, no. 2 (December 2019), pp. 1-57. Introduction by Christine Straehle, and Commentaries by Leonie Smith, Timothy Waligore, Elizabeth Kahn, and Michael Blake.


Colleen Murphy, Perspectives on Politics, 18, 2 (2020): 606-8.

Ingrid Samset, Review Essay: 'Towards Decolonial Justice,' International Journal of Transitional Justice, Volume 14, Issue 3 (November 2020), 596–607.

Lukas Sparenborg, Journal of Moral Philosophy, 19, 3 (June 2022): 307-310.

Just and Unjust Interventions in World Politics:

Public and Private


     Tapping insights and controversies from feminist political theory, Lu argues that debates between realists, communitarians, and cosmopolitans about the ethics of intervention in world politics are disciplined by competing models of the public/private distinction. A focus on this construct illuminates alternative images of ‘sovereignty as privacy’ and ‘sovereignty as responsibility,’ and identifies new ethical challenges arising from the increased agency of private global civil society actors, and their uneasy relationship with the world of states in contexts of ‘humanitarian intervention.’ This book should interest scholars of international ethics, world order, human rights, international law and society, and global civil society. The new Afterward to the 2011 edition focuses on the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, and the ethical and political challenges it poses to diverse public and private agents engaged in interventions for the purposes of human protection. This includes states and the United Nations, private military and security companies, and the international humanitarian aid regime.

Shortlisted for the 2008 C.B. Macpherson Prize by the Canadian Political Science Association, for best book published in 2006-7 in Political Theory authored by a Canadian.

Journal Articles

Journal Articles

"Progress, decolonization and global justice: a tragic view," International Affairs, Volume 99, Issue 1, January 2023, Pages 141–159,


“Where have all the women gone? Changing the past to change the future of IR thought,” Contribution in Hutchings, K., Dunstan, S., Owens, P. et al. "On canons and question marks: The work of women’s international thought." Critical exchange on Patricia Owens and Katharina Rietzler, eds., Women’s International Thought: A New History (Cambridge University Press, 2021), and Patricia Owens, Katharina Rietzler, Kimberly Hutchings, Sarah C. Dunstan, eds., Women’s International Thought : Towards a New Canon (Cambridge University Press, 2021). Contemporary Political Theory, Published on-line September 2021.


Book symposium: 'Structural injustice and alienation: a reply to my critics,' Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, 23, 4 (2020): 518-555 (published on-line 27 May 2019).

Book symposium: ‘Author response: Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Structural Transformation,’ Ethics & Global Politics, 11:1 (2018) : 42-57.

Colonialism as Structural Injustice: Historical Responsibility and Contemporary Redress,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 19, 3 (September 2011) 261-281 (lead article).

+Reprinted in Political Theory Without Borders, Robert E. Goodin and James S. Fishkin, eds. (Oxford: Wiley Blackwell, 2015), 237-259.


“Colonialism as Structural Injustice and Implications for Responsibilities of Repair,” The Journal of Asiatic Studies (Korean language), 53, 2 (June 2010), 33-54.


Political Friendship Among Peoples,” Journal of International Political Theory 5, 1 (Spring 2009) 41-58.


Shame, Guilt and Reconciliation After War,” The European Journal of Social Theory 11, 3 (August 2008) 367-383.


Humanitarian Intervention: Moral Ambition and Political Constraints,” International Journal 62, 4 (Autumn 2007) 934-943.


Introducing New Orders and Modes: Lessons from Machiavelli,” Journal of International Law and International Relations 2, 1 (Winter 2005) 177-184.


Cosmopolitan Liberalism and the Faces of Injustice in International Relations,” Review of International Studies 31, 2 (April 2005) 401-8.


Co-authored with Melissa Williams and Toshihiro Menju, “Japan and ‘the Other’: Reconceiving Japanese Citizenship in the Era of Globalization,” Asian Perspective 29, 1 (March 2005) 99-134.


Agents, Structures and Evil in World Politics,” International Relations 18, 4 (December 2004) 499-510.


Human Wrongs and the Tragedy of Victimhood: A Response to Robert Meister,” and “Liberals, Revolutionaries and Responsibility,” Ethics and International Affairs 16, 2 (2002)   109-117 and 124-126.


Justice and moral regeneration: lessons from the Treaty of Versailles,” International Studies Review 4, 3 (2002) 3-25 (lead article).


The one and many faces of cosmopolitanism,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 8, 2 (2000) 244-267.

+Reprinted in Global Justice, Christian Barry and Holly Lawford-Smith (Ashgate Library Series on Justice, May 2012).

Images of justice:  justice as a bond, a boundary and a balance,” The Journal of Political Philosophy 6, 1 (1998) 1-26 (lead article).

Book Chapters

Book Chapters

“Representing Humanity? The Role of Museums in Addressing Colonial Alienation,” in The Future of the Dutch Colonial Past, eds. Wayne Modest, Margriet Schavemaker, Pepijn Brandon, Karwan Fatah-Black and Imara Limon (University of Amsterdam Press, January 2024), 228-238.

“Responsibility, Structural Injustice, and Settler Colonialism,” in What is Structural Injustice? eds. Jude Browne and Maeve McKeown (Oxford University Press, January 2024), 107-125.


 “Solidarity and Structural Injustice,” in Solidarity: Its Nature, Grounds, and Value – Andrea Sangiovanni in dialogue, edited by David Owen (Manchester University Press, November 2023), 222-37.

Reconciliation as Non-Alienation:  The Politics of Being at Home in the World,” in Reconciliation and Repair: Mending Frayed Civic Bonds, Nomos LXIII (Yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy), eds. Melissa Schwartzberg and Eric Beerbohm (New York: New York University Press, May 2023).


“The Right to Justification and the Good of Nonalienation,” in Justification and Emancipation: The Political Philosophy of Rainer Forst (Penn State Series in Critical Theory), ed. Eduardo Mendieta (Penn State University Press, 2019), 76-92.


“Decolonizing Borders, Self-Determination, and Global Justice,” in Empire, Race and Global Justice, Duncan Bell ed., (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2019), 251-272.


“Cosmopolitan Justice, Democracy, and World Government,” Institutional Cosmopolitanism, Luis Cabrera ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018), 232-252.


Reconciliation and Reparations,” The Oxford Handbook of Ethics of War, Helen Frowe and Seth Lazar eds. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015), Chapter 29.


¨Tragedies and International Relations,” in Tragedy and International Relations, Toni Erskine and Richard Ned Lebow eds. (Houndmills, Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), 158-171.


The Politics of Legal Accountability and Genocide Prevention,” in Confronting Genocide (Ius Gentium book series: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice, Volume 7), René Provost and Payam Akhavan eds. (Dordrecht/New York: Springer Verlag, 2011), 295-303.


Humanitarianism and the Use of Force,” in The Ethics of Global Governance, Antonio Franceschet, ed. (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 2009), 85-102.


“Justice and Reparations in World Politics,” in Reparations: Interdisciplinary Inquiries, eds. Rahul Kumar and Jon Miller (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), 193-212.


“The International Criminal Court as an Institution of Moral Regeneration: Problems and Prospects,” Bringing Power to Justice, eds. Joanna Harrington, Michael Milde and Richard Vernon (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2006), 191-209.


“Whose Principles? Whose Institutions? Legitimacy Challenges for Humanitarian Intervention,” in Humanitarian Intervention, Nomos XLVII (Yearbook of the American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy), eds. Terry Nardin and Melissa Williams (New York: New York University Press, 2005), 188-216.

“Delivering the Goods and the Good: Repairing Moral Wrongs,” in Calling Power to Account: Law, Reparations, and the Chinese Canadian Head Tax Case, eds. David Dyzenhaus and Mayo Moran (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005), 147-164.

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