Authority, Tradition, and Practice
Publication Year: 2013
The just war tradition is central to the practice of international relations, in questions of war, peace, and the conduct of war in the contemporary world, but surprisingly few scholars have questioned the authority of the tradition as a source of moral guidance for modern statecraft. Just War: Authority, Tradition, and Practice brings together many of the most important contemporary writers on just war to consider questions of authority surrounding the just war tradition.
Authority is critical in two key senses. First, it is central to framing the ethical debate about the justice or injustice of war, raising questions about the universality of just war and the tradition's relationship to religion, law, and democracy. Second, who has the legitimate authority to make just-war claims and declare and prosecute war? Such authority has traditionally been located in the sovereign state, but non-state and supra-state claims to legitimate authority have become increasingly important over the last twenty years as the just war tradition has been used to think about multilateral military operations, terrorism, guerrilla warfare, and sub-state violence. The chapters in this collection, organized around these two dimensions, offer a compelling reassessment of the authority issue's centrality in how we can, do, and ought to think about war in contemporary global politics.
Published by: Georgetown University Press
Title page, copyright PAge
This book, the yield of an interdisciplinary workshop held in Washington in thesummer of 2010, is an attempt to shine new light on an old topic: the just wartradition. This tradition has long served as a framework within which to explorematters of war and communal violence. It not only structures moral reflection onthese matters but also informs the political and legal institutions that govern and...
Introduction: The Just War Tradition and the Practice of Political Authority
THE JUST WAR TRADITION is the predominant moral language through which weaddress questions pertaining to the rights and wrongs of the use of force in interna-tional society. Boasting a lineage that is typically traced to the sunset of the RomanEmpire, it furnishes us with a set of concepts, principles, and analytical devices formaking sense of the moral-legal questions that war raises. Contemporary accounts of...
PART I: THE PRACTICE OF AUTHORITY
1 The Right to Use Armed Force: Sovereignty, Responsibility, and the Common Good
THROUGH MOST OF THE HISTORY of the just war tradition, writers on just war,when listing the requirements for just resort to armed force, followed the exampleof the summary provided by Thomas Aquinas: first the authority of a sovereignruler; then just cause, defined as retaking that which has been wrongly taken andpunishing evildoing; and then right intention, defined negatively as avoiding inten-...
2 Just War and Political Judgment
THE AIM OF THIS CHAPTER is to defend the position that while the categories asso-ciated with just war thinking may help us to exercise judgment in particular cases,we should avoid just war theorizing altogether. The intended distinction here is best,if somewhat crudely, summarized by saying that whereas those who look to justwar theory expect to be given answers, those who prefer to talk of just war thinking...
3 Natural Flourishing as the Normative Ground of Just War: A Christian View
WEMIGHTACHIEVEa universal language about the ethics of war. It might be thatwarrior cultures will vanish from the world, and that no one will ever again supposethat the ecstasy of violence is its own justification, or that domination is war’sobvious and intrinsic end. It might be that the terms in which the just war traditionspeaks will become the global lingua franca. I doubt it, but it might be. If it were...
4 ‘‘Not in My Name’’? Legitimate Authority and Liberal Just War theory
THIS CHAPTER AIMS TO EXPLORE one aspect of the massive controversy generatedby the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The war, occupation, and postwar political fate of Iraqand Iraqis have occasioned enormous debate on a whole range of important politi-cal questions and still cast a lengthy shadow over the political reputation of the twoleaders most closely associated with the invasion, George W. Bush and Tony Blair,...
5 The Inseparability of Gender Hierarchy, the Just War Tradition, and Authorizing War
WHEN US PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH justified the US military invasions ofAfghanistan and then Iraq in part by proclaiming that ‘‘brutality against women isalways and everywhere wrong’’ and mixing that proclamation with the language ofjust cause in the just war tradition,1 the gendered nature of his justifications wasneither coincidental nor aberrant to the tradition itself.2 Instead, the just war tra-...
6 Legitimate Authority and the War against Al-Qaeda
SINCE THE EARLY TWENTIETH CENTURY, irregular and nonstate actors have dem-onstrated not only their political relevance but also increased levels of military capa-bility and sophistication.1 Such developments have spurred a reexamination of thelegitimate authority criterion, leading certain theorists to argue that this crite-rion—as it serves to determine the justice of wars—ought to be reconsidered or...
7 Problems of Legitimacy within the Just War Tradition and International Law
Justice removed, then, what are kingdoms but great bands of robbers? What are bandsof robbers themselves but little kingdoms? The band itself is made up of men; it isgoverned by the authority of a ruler; it is bound together by a pact of association; andthe loot is divided according to agreed law. If, by the constant addition of desperatemen, this scourge grows to such a size that it acquires territory, establishes a seat of...
8 Narrative Authority
HOW CAN CITIZENS OF democratic states engage in moral deliberation about war?Public discourses about war in democratic states tend toward the nationalistic oreven jingoistic. This tendency is exacerbated in such states by the assumption thatdemocracies only use force for good purposes and never resort to war for self-interested reasons. That is, any judgments about war tend to be ones that reinforce...
PART II: AUTHORITY IN PRACTICE
9 Culpability and Punishment in Classical Theories of Just War
...‘‘JUST WARS ARE USUALLY DEFINED as those which have for their end the avengingof injuries [ulciscuntur iniurias].’’ This phrase from Augustine, cited in Gratian’sDecretum, was repeated approvingly by successive generations of canon lawyers andtheologians.1 For these early authors in the just war tradition, punishment was inti-mately connected with the issue of legitimate authority. Most assumed that waging...
10 The Necessity of "Right Intent" for Justifiably Waging War
THE MAINSTREAM WESTERN CHRISTIAN TEACHING about just war, as it had devel-oped up to the 1270s, was succinctly summarized by Thomas Aquinas. His sum-mary included three conditions for justifiably waging war.1 In referring to wagingwar or war-making (‘‘bellare’’ in Latin), Aquinas appears to be discussing the com-plex social act of a group of people. His initial moral concern was about whether...
11 Revenge, Affect, and Just War
There’s something fundamentally odd about celebrating a death, but that fact is cer-‘‘10 Celebrations of Osama bin Laden’s Death from around the Country.’’Revenge is an unfashionable word among post-imperial Europeans, who feel morecomfortable with notions of justice, preferably after due legal process. Gleeful Ameri-cans, who chanted ‘‘USA, USA!’’ outside the White House after Barack Obama...
12 Just War and Guerilla War
ALTHOUGH IT IS CRUCIAL TO ASK how state armies should fight nonstate guerrillaorganizations justly, it is equally important to ask whether guerrillas can wage justwar. It is often thought that they cannot—that guerrilla armies violate the principlesof just war in the most egregious way and leave state armies to wring their hands infrustration and debate the price of violating the same principles that their adversar-...
13 Bugsplat: US Standing Rules of Engagement, International Humanitarian Law, Military Necessity, and Noncombatant Immunity
War is thus an act of force to compel our enemy to do our will. . . . Attached to force arecertain self-imposed, imperceptible limitations hardly worth mentioning, known asinternational law and custom, but they scarcely weaken it [emphasis added]. On War,These ROEs [rules of engagement] might sound fine to academics gathering at someesoteric seminar on how to avoid civilian casualties in a war zone. But they do abso-...
14 Just War and Military Education and Training
COMBATING TERRORISM AND counterinsurgency warfare pose novel challengesto the system of professional military education and training. Indeed, the manydimensions of the changing nature of war is a theme that unites many of the chap-ters in this volume. Further, because, as the editors point out in their introductionto this volume, so much of just war theory in recent centuries has been formed in...
PART III: THE TRIUMPH OF JUST WAR?
15 The Triumph of Just War Theory and Imperial Overstretch
I BEGIN WITH SOME COMMENTS on this chapter’s title. As many will recognize, thefirst words are borrowed from Michael Walzer’s 2004 essay, The Triumph of JustWar (and the Dangers of Success).1 Walzer’s concern is shared by all those engagedin interpreting the just war idea. If we do our work well, the vocabulary of jus adbellum and jus in bello becomes better known. More people refer to the idea, and...
16 The Wager Lost by Winning? On the ‘‘Triumph’’ of the Just War Tradition
THE PERIOD SINCE THE END of World War II, and most especially from the 1970sto the present, has seen a revival of normative theorizing about war unparalleledsince the seventeenth century. And in the main, such theorizing has tended to fellowrelatively well-worn paths. Both explicitly religious and, especially, secular theoriz-ing have focused to a very large extent on working broadly within the parameters...
Conclusion: Reclaiming the Just War Tradition for International Political Theory
WEOPENEDTHISVOLUMEwith a brief discussion of President Obama’s remarksupon the receipt of his Nobel Peace Prize in December 2009. These remarks, thereader will recall, challenged members of the international community to find newways of thinking about ‘‘just war’’ and how it should apply to the battlefields of thetwenty-first century. It was in light of these remarks that we, the editors and various...
Page Count: 336
Illustrations: 1 figure
Publication Year: 2013