Armed reprisals are the limited use of military force in response to unlawful actions perpetrated against states. Historically, reprisals provided a military remedy for states that had been wronged by another state without having to resort to all-out war in order to counter or deter such wrongful actions. While reprisals are broadly believed to have been outlawed by the UN Charter, states continue to routinely undertake such self-help measures. As part of the roundtable, “The Ethics of Limited Strikes,” this essay (...) examines the doctrine of armed reprisals in light of recent instances of states using force “short of war” in this manner. We argue that the ban on reprisals has been largely ignored by states, and that recent attempts to apply the laws of armed conflict to the cyber domain are further weakening this prohibition. We conclude that this is a potentially dangerous development that lowers the bar for resorting to military force, risking escalation and thereby further destabilizing the international system. (shrink)
Abstract Finding a moral justification for humanitarian intervention has been the objective of a great deal of academic inquiry in recent years. Most of these treatments, however, make certain arguments or assumptions about the morality of humanitarian intervention without fully exploring their precise philosophical underpinnings, which has led to an increasingly disjointed body of literature. The purpose of this essay, therefore, is to suggest that the conventional arguments and assumptions made about the morality of humanitarian intervention can be encompassed in (...) what is essentially a consequentialist framework. After a brief examination of consequentialist ethics, this essay reveals a number of morally relevant factors concerning humanitarian intervention, wherein I suggest that the general consensus in the literature on these factors constitutes ?commonsense morality?. In doing so, I argue that consequentialism as a theory of the right provides the best fit with commonsense morality on humanitarian intervention. This is important not only to reveal the precise philosophical underpinnings of the debate, but also to bring ethical, prudential and political considerations together in a coherent ethical discourse. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that a particular war is just or unjust, that terrorism is always wrong, or that torture can sometimes be morally justified? What are the moral bases for the possession or use of nuclear weapons, intervening in other nations' civil wars, or being a bystander to genocide? Such questions take us to the heart of what is morally right and wrong behaviour in our world. Global Violence: Ethical and Political Issues provides readers with the analytical (...) tools to better understand the suppositions that underlie the debates about such questions, as well as equipping them to advance their own reasoned and informed moral analyses of these topics. The book engages different normative approaches from the fields of ethics, international relations and political philosophy and uses them to examine a set of case studies on the subjects of inter-state and civil war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, torture and genocide. (shrink)
What does it mean to say that a particular war is just or unjust, that terrorism is always wrong, or that torture can sometimes be morally justified? What are the moral bases for the possession or use of nuclear weapons, intervening in other countries’ civil wars, or being a bystander to genocide? Such questions take us to the heart of what is morally right and wrong behaviour in our world. Global Violence: Ethical and Political Issues provides readers with the analytical (...) tools to better understand the suppositions that underlie the debates about such questions, as well as advances its own reasoned and informed ethical analyses of these topics. The book engages different normative approaches from the fields of ethics, political theory, and international relations and uses them to examine a set of case studies on the subjects of inter-state and civil war, nuclear weapons, terrorism, torture and genocide. (shrink)
Justice, Sustainability, and Security not only enhances our knowledge of these issues, but it teases out our moral dimensions and offer prescriptions for how governments and global actors might craft their policies to better consider their effects on the global human condition.
Introduction -- Nietzsche's echo -- Injustice as the negation of justice -- Injustice as disunity -- Injustice as mismeasurement -- Injustice as unity -- Injustice as measurement -- Measurement and modernity.
The Logic of Liberal Rights uses basic logic to develop a model of argument presupposed in all disputes about civil rights and liberties. No prior training in logic is required, as each step is explained. This analysis does not merely apply general logic to legal arguments but is also specifically tailored to the issues of civil rights and liberties. It shows that all arguments about civil rights and liberties presuppose one fixed structure and that there can be no original argument (...) in rights disputes, except within the confines of that structure. Concepts arising in disputes about rights, like 'liberal' or 'democratic', are not mere abstractions but have a fixed and precise character. This book integrates themes in legal theory, political science and moral philosophy, as well as the philosophy of logic and language. For the advanced scholar, the book provides a model presupposed by leading theoretical schools . For the student it provides a systematic theory of civil rights and liberties. Examples are drawn from the European Convention in Human Rights but no special knowledge of the Convention is assumed, as the issues analysed arise throughout the world. Such issues include problems of free speech, religious freedom, privacy, torture, unlawful detention and private property. (shrink)
This article explores the extent to which the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 coheres with the normative precepts of liberalism as an international political theory. Beginning with a Lockean liberal theory of the state, this article first examines the evolution of international liberalism in order to identify the fundamental normative postulates of liberal theory as it pertains to international relations, especially regarding the use of military force. The article then advances two interrelated arguments: First, that the underpinnings of the (...) decision to invade Iraq embodied in the Bush Doctrine draw heavily from the liberal tradition, though still depart from it in important ways. Second, that the Bush Doctrine as manifested in the Iraq war reflects in many ways the liberal thinking that prevailed during the interwar years and is therefore susceptible to a similar charge of ‘utopianism’ that was leveled against interwar liberalism by E. H. Carr in his Twenty Years' Crisis. (shrink)
In comparison to Aristotle, Plato's general understanding of law receives little attention in legal theory, due in part to ongoing perceptions of him as a mystic or a totalitarian. However, some of the critical or communitarian themes that have guided theorists since Aristotle find strong expression in Plato's work. More than any thinker until the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Plato rejects the rank individualism and self-interest which, in his view, emerge from democratic legal culture. He rejects schisms between legal norms (...) and community values, institutional separation of law from morals, intricate regimes of legislation and adjudication, and a culture of rampant litigation. He rejects the alienation of individuals, from each other and from their communities, that is so easily bred within highly complex political and legal systems. An understanding of his approach to some of the classic questions of legal theory provides insight not only into some central ideas of his own thought, but also into the roots of critical and communitarian critiques of law. (shrink)
Legal scholars’ interest in Shakespeare has often focused on conventional legal rules and procedures, such as those of The Merchant of Venice or Measure for Measure. Those plays certainly reveal systemic injustice, but within stable, prosperous societies, which enjoy a generally well-functioning legal order. In contrast, Shakespeare's first historical tetralogy explores the conditions for the very possibility of a legal system, in terms not unlike those described by Hobbes a half-century later. The first tetralogy's deeply collapsed, quasi-anarchic society lacks any (...) functioning legal regime. Its power politics are not, as in many of Shakespeare's other plays, merely latent, lurking beneath the patina of an otherwise functioning legal order. They pervade all of society. Dissenting from a long critical tradition, this article suggests that the figure of Henry VI does not merely represent antiquated medievalism or inept rule. Through Henry's constant recourse to legal process, arbitration and anti-militarism, the first tetralogy goes beyond questions about how to establish a functioning legal order. It examines the possibility, and meaning, of a just one. (shrink)