Just War: Authority, Tradition, and Practice

Just War: Authority, Tradition, and Practice

by Anthony F. Lang Jr., Cian O'Driscoll Jr., John Williams Jr.
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Journal of Church and State

One of the most intriguing goals of the volume is how it challenges what the post-Westphalian system did to the classical just war criteria of right authority. . . . [We need] many diverse voices contributing to the just war tradition itself, which is something this collection ably provides.

From the Publisher

"A unique contribution to the mass of just-war literature […] a book for the specialist and those well-versed in just war theory." -- Laurence M. Vance, LewRockwell.com

LewRockwell.com - Laurence M. Vance

A unique contribution to the mass of just-war literature . . . a book for the specialist and those well-versed in just war theory.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781589019966
Publisher:
Georgetown University Press
Publication date:
09/28/2013
Pages:
328
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are saying about this

Alexander Bellamy

The question of authority has sat at the heart of questions about the morality of war and peace for centuries. Combining forensic understanding of the history and complexity of this question with keen awareness of contemporary political challenges, this volume builds understanding of past traditions and sheds new light on today's moral dilemmas. It is essential reading for all those concerned about the moral questions posed by war.

From the Publisher

"In the complex, multi-polar international environment of the twenty-first century, who has authority to wage war? This book offers a fascinating, varied, and thought-provoking set of answers to this difficult but immensely important question." -- David Fisher, Kings College London

"The question of authority has sat at the heart of questions about the morality of war and peace for centuries. Combining forensic understanding of the history and complexity of this question with keen awareness of contemporary political challenges, this volume builds understanding of past traditions and sheds new light on today's moral dilemmas. It is essential reading for all those concerned about the moral questions posed by war." -- Alexander Bellamy, professor of international security, Griffith University, Australia

David Fisher

In the complex, multi-polar international environment of the twenty-first century, who has authority to wage war? This book offers a fascinating, varied, and thought-provoking set of answers to this difficult but immensely important question.

Meet the Author

Anthony F. Lang Jr. is a reader in the School of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews and director of the Centre for Global Constitutionalism.

Cian O'Driscoll is a lecturer in international politics at the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Glasgow.

John Williams is a professor of international relations at Durham University.

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