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Toward a Just World

The Critical Years in the Search for International Justice

Toward a Just World

The Critical Years in the Search for International Justice

"Toward a Just World is an insightful and thoughtful history. The first half of the twentieth century and the heroic efforts of those who sought international justice during that time will be much better understood and appreciated thanks to this fascinating book."—Robert F. Drinan, Georgetown University

A century ago, there was no such thing as international justice, and until recently, the idea of permanent international courts and formal war crimes tribunals would have been almost unthinkable. Yet now we depend on institutions such as these to air and punish crimes against humanity, as we have seen in the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda and the appearance of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic before the Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.

Toward a Just World tells the remarkable story of the long struggle to craft the concept of international justice that we have today. Dorothy V. Jones focuses on the first half of the twentieth century, the pivotal years in which justice took on expanded meaning in conjunction with ideas like world peace, human rights, and international law. Fashioning both political and legal history into a compelling narrative, Jones recovers little-known events from undeserved obscurity and helps us see with new eyes the pivotal ones that we think we know. Jones also covers many of the milestones in the history of diplomacy, from the Treaty of Versailles and the creation of the League of Nations to the Nuremberg war crimes tribunal and the making of the United Nations.

As newspapers continue to fill their front pages with stories about how to administer justice to al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, Toward a Just World will serve as a timely reminder of how the twentieth century achieved one of its most enduring triumphs: giving justice an international meaning.

272 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2002

History: American History, European History

Law and Legal Studies: International Law

Political Science: Diplomacy, Foreign Policy, and International Relations


“In a tour de force, Dorothy V. Jones exhumes from musty annals . . . totally forgotten figures in the quest for international justice. . . . Jones, in her finely wrought narrative, describes the people and events that shaped that campaign.”

World Policy Journal

“In this narrative, Dorothy V. Jones has identified critical intellectual and political lineage to today’s struggles over sovereignty, law, and human rights.”

Foreign Affairs

“Dorothy V. Jones has produced a lucid, thought-provoking book that is strongly recommended to those interested in contemporary international relations, conflict resolution, and the adjudication of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Her focus on the early twentieth century fills a gap in the historiography of international law.”

American Historical Review

Table of Contents

Part One: Conditions of Struggle
1. The Bright Chain of Reason
2. The Faithful Company
3. A Contest of Concepts
4. Invisible Barriers
Part Two: Weapons of Peace
5. Virtues, Old and New
6. The Transforming Years
7. The Fruits of Defiance
8. An Era Unknown
Part Three: Questions of Law
9. A Limited Reach
10. Symbolic Interventions
11. Morality in Thrall
12. The Puzzle of Evil
13. A Conservative Compass
14. Sovereignty’s Hard Shell
Part Four: The Long Road Home
15. A Grotian Moment
16. A Home for the Heart
A Bibliographic Note on Theories of Justice


Int'l Hist & Pol Section, APSA: Jervis-Schroeder Award

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