The Just War: Force and Political Responsibility

Overview

In the wake of Operation Desert Storm, the question of 'just war' has become a hotly contested issue, and this classic text on war and the ethics of modern statecraft written at the height of the Vietnam era in 1968 speaks to a new generation of readers. In defending just war against Christian pacifism, Ramsey joins a line of theological reasoning that traces its antecedents to Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Ramsey argues that decisions regarding war must be governed by 'political prudence.' Whether a ...

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1991 Trade paperback New. No dust jacket as issued. Inventory mark on the edge. Glued binding. 524 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

In the wake of Operation Desert Storm, the question of 'just war' has become a hotly contested issue, and this classic text on war and the ethics of modern statecraft written at the height of the Vietnam era in 1968 speaks to a new generation of readers. In defending just war against Christian pacifism, Ramsey joins a line of theological reasoning that traces its antecedents to Saint Augustine and Saint Thomas Aquinas. Ramsey argues that decisions regarding war must be governed by 'political prudence.' Whether a particular war should be fought, and at what level of violence, depends, Ramsey writes, on one's count of the moral costs and benefits. Characterized by a sophisticated yet back-to-basics approach, his analysis begins with the assumption that force is a fact in political life which must either be reckoned with or succumbed to. He then grapples with modern challenges to traditional moral principles of 'just conduct' in war, the 'morality of deterrence,' and a 'just war theory of statecraft.'

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
When Scribner first published Ramsey's (religion, Princeton U.) book, it was dismissed as a defense of his support for the Vietnam war and the US nuclear arsenal. Discussion of notions about just war after September 11 has recalled it from the grave. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822630142
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/15/1991
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul Ramsey, one of the leading theologians of the 20th century, was professor of religion at Princeton University. Among his many writings are Basic Christian Ethics, Nine Modern Moralists, and War and the Christian Conscience: How Shall Modern War be Conducted Justly.

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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction
Pt. 1 Political Ethics
1 The Uses of Power 3
2 The Ethics of Intervention 19
3 What Americans Ordinarily Think About Justice in War 42
4 Pacem in terris 70
5 Selective Conscientious Objection 91
Pt. 2 The Morality of War
6 Justice in War 141
7 The Case for Making "Just War" Possible 148
8 The Hatfields and the Coys 168
9 Turn Toward Just War 178
10 When "Just" War Is Not Justified 189
11 The Limits of Nuclear War 211
12 Can a Pacifist Tell a Just War? 259
Pt. 3 The Morality of Deterrence
13 A Brief Preface to the Morality of Deterrence 281
14 More Unsolicited Advice to Vatican Council II 285
15 Again, the Justice of Deterrence 314
Pt. 4 The Second Vatican Council and a Just-War Theory of Statecraft
16 The Vatican Council on Modern War 369
17 Robert W. Tucker's Bellum Contra Bellum Justum 391
Pt. 5 Vietnam and Insurgency Warfare
18 How Shall Counter-Insurgency War Be Conducted Justly? 427
19 Incapacitating Gases 465
20 Farewell to Christian Realism 479
21 Vietnam: Dissent from Dissent 489
22 Is Vietnam a Just War? 497
23 The Miami "Appeal to the Churches Concerning Vietnam" 513
24 Counting the Costs 523
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