Peacekeepers’ Autonomy and Military Authority
This article considers the problem of conciliation of military authority and peacekeepers’ autonomy. At first glance there is a tension between authority and autonomy in many areas of human life like religion, political life, national soldiering and even peacekeeping missions. The core of this tension is the practical contradiction between authority, which implies reason for controlling the behaviour of others, and the autonomy of the others, which involves reason for self-governing. This article proposes a distinction in peacekeepers’ autonomy between professional and moral autonomy, and suggests a way of explaining away the tension. The essential part of the solution is the claim that peacekeepers’ professional autonomy involves ‘building the moral community’ between the formerly hostile sides of a conflict within the confines of international military hierarchy. From this claim I draw the conclusions that the concept of military authority is part of the concept of peacekeepers’ professional autonomy, and that due to the content of peacekeepers’ professional autonomy, peacekeepers’ special moral autonomy is extended as compared to civilian moral autonomy.