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Revisionist just war theory and the impossibility of a moral victory

Brown, Chris (2017) Revisionist just war theory and the impossibility of a moral victory. In: Hom, Andrew R., O'Driscoll, Cian and Mills, Kurt, (eds.) Moral victories: the ethics of winning wars. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 85-100. ISBN 978-0-19-880182-5

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Abstract

Recently, the militarization of the police has received much comment while less attention has been given to the application of civilian legal and moral standards to soldiers in combat zones. This shift is partly the product of ‘revisionist’ just war theorists, who understand war in terms of individual responsibility, challenging conventional views on the rights of states to defend themselves and replacing the Law of Armed Conflict with International Human Rights Law. This is a retrograde step; it loses contact with realities of warfare and validates the critique of just war thinking as encouraging a Manichean worldview. Classical just war thinking is about discrimination, avoiding the absolutism of both pacifism and an amoral realpolitik; revisionist just war theory is effectively pacifist insofar as no actual war could be fought that would satisfy its conditions. Discrimination disappears, and with it the possibility of a moral or any other kind of victory.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL: https://global.oup.com/academic/
Additional Information: © 2018 Oxford University Press
Divisions: International Relations
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Sets: Departments > International Relations
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2018 11:51
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2020 00:48
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/87679

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