5 The Revival of Just War Theory During large parts of the 19th and 20th

5 the revival of just war theory during large parts

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5. The Revival of Just War Theory During large parts of the 19th and 20th centuries, Just War theory would be displaced from the centre of normative reflection on international affairs, in part due to the emer- gence of modern international law. But in the last 30 years, it has reasserted its central position, prompted initially by heated discussions in the United States on the morality of the Vietnam War, not least among Church groups who would frequently refer to the idea of just war. The philosophical reappropriation of Just War theory is largely due to Michael Walzer’s Just and Unjust Wars . 50 Central issues arising from the ensuing debates concern, on the side of jus ad bellum , the allowable scope of warfare for defensive pur- poses, including humanitarian interventions and preventive action against terrorism, and on the side on jus in bello , problems associated with proportionality, collateral damage, non-combatant immunity, weapons of mass destruction most especially nuclear weapons – as well as the special duties incumbent upon military personnel engaged in peacekeeping missions. 51 Of particular theoretical interest is the critical reassessment of the supposedly categorical distinction between jus in bello and jus ad bellum , an assumption central to Wolff, Vattel, and Walzer. 52 Thus, for instance, Jeff McMahan (2004; 2009) has questioned the assumption that the conduct of military forces can be evaluated without reference to the justice of their cause: just belligerents, he argues, have moral privileges that their unjust counterparts do not. Finally, a further development is the emergence of a distinct discourse on jus post bellum (‘‘justice after war’’). 53 This develop- ment comes in response to the proliferation of civil wars during the 1990s and 2000s, and seeks to articulate the (sometimes) competing exigencies of justice and peace in the transitional period that follows the termination of armed conflict. Acknowledgement Work on this article was funded in part by a grant from the Research Council of Nor- way. The authors thank Jeff McMahan and an anonymous reader for suggesting useful revisions to an earlier draft of this article. The Ethics of War. Part I 323 ª 2012 The Authors Philosophy Compass 7/5 (2012): 316–327, 10.1111/j.1747-9991.2011.00458.x Philosophy Compass ª 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd
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Short Biographies Endre Begby (PhD, University of Pittsburgh, 2008) is a post-doctoral fellow at the Cen- tre for the Study of Mind in Nature (CSMN) at the University of Oslo. He specializes in philosophy of mind and language, and in political philosophy. His work in the latter area is primarily focused on relations between domestic and international justice, specifically on questions of state sovereignty, self-determination, and intervention. Recent work includes ‘‘Human Security and Liberal Peace’’ (with J. Peter Burgess) and ‘‘Rawlsian Compromises in Peacebuilding?’’ (both in Public Reason ), as well as ‘‘Concepts and Abili- ties in Anti-Individualism’’ (forthcoming in Journal of Philosophy ).
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