Of War and Law

Of War and Law

by David Kennedy
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

ISBN-10: 0691128642

ISBN-13: 9780691128641

Pub. Date: 08/21/2006

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Modern war is law pursued by other means. Once a bit player in military conflict, law now shapes the institutional, logistical, and physical landscape of war. At the same time, law has become a political and ethical vocabulary for marking legitimate power and justifiable death. As a result, the battlespace is as legally regulated as the rest of modern life. In

Overview

Modern war is law pursued by other means. Once a bit player in military conflict, law now shapes the institutional, logistical, and physical landscape of war. At the same time, law has become a political and ethical vocabulary for marking legitimate power and justifiable death. As a result, the battlespace is as legally regulated as the rest of modern life. In Of War and Law, David Kennedy examines this important development, retelling the history of modern war and statecraft as a tale of the changing role of law and the dramatic growth of law's power. Not only a restraint and an ethical yardstick, law can also be a weapon—a strategic partner, a force multiplier, and an excuse for terrifying violence.

Kennedy focuses on what can go wrong when humanitarian and military planners speak the same legal language—wrong for humanitarianism, and wrong for warfare. He argues that law has beaten ploughshares into swords while encouraging the bureaucratization of strategy and leadership. A culture of rules has eroded the experience of personal decision-making and responsibility among soldiers and statesmen alike. Kennedy urges those inside and outside the military who wish to reduce the ferocity of battle to understand the new roles—and the limits—of law. Only then will we be able to revitalize our responsibility for war.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691128641
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
08/21/2006
Pages:
206
Sales rank:
1,266,198
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.80(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: War Today 1

Chapter 1: War as a Legal Institution 13
The Political Context for War 13
Professional War 27
Law as the Landscape for War 33
Law and the Legitimacy of Military Operations 39

Chapter 2: The Historical Context: How Did We Get Here? 46
International Law before the Rise of Modern War and Statecraft 47
Law Meets Modern Warfare 56
Changes in Legal Thought: An Opening for Humanitarianism 64
International Institutions and the Rise of a Modern Law of Force 68
Legal Realism and the Transformation of the Law in War 83

Chapter 3: War by Law 99
Battle in the Shadow of Sharp Distinctions and Outsider Ethics: Traces of the Premodern Legal Order 100
Modern Law and Modern War: Problems of Strategy 111
Legal War and the Elusive Experience of Responsibility 141

Epilogue 165
Notes 173
Index 179

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >