Authorization and The Morality of War

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (2):211-226 (2016)


Why does it matter that those who fight wars be authorized by the communities on whose behalf they claim to fight? I argue that lacking authorization generates a moral cost, which counts against a war's proportionality, and that having authorization allows the transfer of reasons from the members of the community to those who fight, which makes the war more likely to be proportionate. If democratic states are better able than non-democratic states and sub-state groups to gain their community's authorization, this means that some wars will be proportionate if fought by democracies, disproportionate if not

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Seth Lazar
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Defensive Harm, Consent, and Intervention.Jonathan Parry - 2017 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 45 (4):356-396.
Revolution and Intervention.Massimo Renzo - 2020 - Noûs 54 (1):533–253.
Helping the Rebels.Massimo Renzo - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 13 (3).
Strengthening Moral Distinction.Seth Lazar - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (3):327-349.

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