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The Future of Just War

New Critical Essays

Caron E. Gentry

Publication Year: 2014

Just War scholarship has adapted to contemporary crises and situations. But its adaptation has spurned debate and conversation—a method and means of pushing its thinking forward. Now the Just War tradition risks becoming marginalized. This concern may seem out of place as Just War literature is proliferating, yet this literature remains welded to traditional conceptualizations of Just War. Caron E. Gentry and Amy E. Eckert argue that the tradition needs to be updated to deal with substate actors within the realm of legitimate authority, private military companies, and the questionable moral difference between the use of conventional and nuclear weapons. Additionally, as recent policy makers and scholars have tried to make the Just War criteria legalistic, they have weakened the tradition’s ability to draw from and adjust to its contemporaneous setting.

The essays in The Future of Just War seek to reorient the tradition around its core concerns of preventing the unjust use of force by states and limiting the harm inflicted on vulnerable populations such as civilian noncombatants. The pursuit of these challenges involves both a reclaiming of traditional Just War principles from those who would push it toward greater permissiveness with respect to war, as well as the application of Just War principles to emerging issues, such as the growing use of robotics in war or the privatization of force. These essays share a commitment to the idea that the tradition is more about a rigorous application of Just War principles than the satisfaction of a checklist of criteria to be met before waging “just” war in the service of national interest.

Published by: University of Georgia Press

Series: Studies in Security and International Affairs


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-14

Critical scholarship questions the ontological and epistemological constructions that are taken to be “natural,” a “given,” or too long- standing to question.1 Like security studies, terrorism studies, or international relations, the Just War tradition also contains such assumptions.2 The Just War tradition assumes a...

Section One: Jus ad Bellum

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Chapter One: Epistemic Bias: Legitimate Authority and Politically Violent Nonstate Actors

Caron E. Gentry

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pp. 17-29

From the earliest Western articulations to current understandings of legitimate authority, jus ad bellum criterion has been granted to a political entity with the most sovereign power, while said entity has also been imbued with a perceived moral competency. Within both the classical and contemporary writings...

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Chapter Two: Strategizing in an Era of Conceptual Change: Security, Sanctioned Violence, and New Military Roles

Kimberly A. Hudson and Dan Henk

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pp. 30-47

Military professionals exercise the state’s monopoly on the “management of violence,”1 a role that remains important in the early twenty- first century. Yet violence is manifestly not the only expectation of contemporary military establishments and, in light of significant expansions in thinking about...

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Chapter Three: Is Just Intervention Morally Obligatory?

Luke Glanville

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pp. 48-61

The idea that humanitarian intervention is not only permissible but obligatory is a central tenet of the “responsibility to protect” that has rapidly emerged in international discourse over the last decade. This concept was first developed by the International Commission on Intervention and State...

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Chapter Four: Private Military Companies and the Reasonable Chance of Success

Amy E. Eckert

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pp. 62-76

Assessing the reasonable chance of success, one of the ancillary criteria of jus ad bellum, has become more complicated with the increasing reliance of states on private force. With the emergence of the private military industry, states and other actors can now hire additional capabilities to augment...

Section Two:. Jus in Bello

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Chapter Five: Postheroic U.S. Warfare and the Moral Justification for Killing in War

Sebastian Kaempf

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pp. 79-97

This chapter investigates the theoretical challenges that the advent of “risk- free” (casualty- averse and posthuman) American warfare poses to both the laws of war and the ethics of the use of force. It thereby focuses on the jus in bello question of when it is permissible for a soldier to kill another combatant in war rather than the more specific question of when it is permissible for...

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Chapter Six: From Smart to Autonomous Weapons: Confounding Territoriality and Moral Agency

Brent J. Steele and Eric A. Heinze

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pp. 98-114

Advances in military technology today are frequently described in terms of the extent to which they remove the soldier from the battlefield and increase the precision of the application of force, therefore reducing the costs and suffering associated with waging war. This capability has been further...

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Chapter Seven: An Alternative to Nuclear Weapons? Proportionality, Discrimination, and the Conventional Global Strike Program

Alexa Royden

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pp. 115-129

In the spring of 2010, the White House confirmed that President Obama supports the development of Conventional Prompt Global Strike (CPGS), a “super” conventional ballistic missile program that would serve as an alternative to, and possible long- term replacement for, U.S. nuclear weapons. Ostensibly...

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Chapter Eight: Rethinking Intention and Double Effect

Harry D. Gould

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pp. 130-147

Consider a scenario almost too commonplace to think of as hypothetical: military planners must decide whether to attack a site that contributes significantly to their enemy’s war efforts—a site located amid noncombatants. The planners must decide whether to attack the site despite foreseeing that noncombatants...

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Chapter Nine: Just War without Civilians

Laura Sjoberg

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pp. 148-164

When critics of u.s. president Barack Obama’s inaction in Syria suggest that failing to intervene results in the tragedy that “innocent women and children end up in pools of their own blood” and mix a call to arms, based on the issue of women’s rights, against the Syrian government with the language of...

Section Three: Jus post Bellum

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Chapter Ten: Jus post Bellum: Justice in the Aftermath of War

Robert E. Williams Jr.

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pp. 167-180

“For as long as men and women have talked about war, they have talked about it in terms of right and wrong.”1 With this simple but important observation Michael Walzer begins his modern classic on Just War theory, Just and Unjust Wars. There is, as he reminds us, a language of justification associated...


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pp. 181-184


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pp. 185-192

E-ISBN-13: 9780820346533
E-ISBN-10: 0820346535
Print-ISBN-13: 9780820339504

Page Count: 200
Illustrations: 2 tables
Publication Year: 2014

Series Title: Studies in Security and International Affairs
Series Editor Byline: Gary K. Bertsch and Howard J. Wiarda, Series Editors See more Books in this Series

OCLC Number: 867818378
MUSE Marc Record: Download for The Future of Just War