Ethics of War and Conflict  book cover
1st Edition

Ethics of War and Conflict

Edited By

Asa Kasher

ISBN 9780415480338
Published February 3, 2014 by Routledge
1656 Pages

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Book Description

Standing on the shoulders of thinkers who have sought carefully to delineate proper behaviour in armed conflict—not least to distinguish just from illegitimate wars—military ethics is a subdiscipline enjoying renewed interest and, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, increasing practical relevance. It is particularly vibrant and expansive at the moment due to the emergence of novel forms of military activity. Whereas classical warfare involved a near symmetrical encounter between opposing forces, present-day asymmetric conflicts (such as fighting terrorists and insurgents) and other military challenges (such as humanitarian intervention and peacekeeping) raise especially difficult—and often dizzying—ethical issues.

As research in and around the area flourishes as never before, this new title in the Routledge Major Works series, Critical Concepts in Philosophy, meets the need for an authoritative reference work to make sense of a rapidly growing and ever more complex corpus of literature. It is a four-volume collection of the best and most influential canonical and cutting-edge research.

The first volume (‘Traditions’) assembles the key work on the history of military ethics from a variety of traditions. The second volume collects the most important thinking on the crucial doctrine of a ‘just war’. Volume III (‘New Military Activities’), meanwhile, brings together the best research on topics such humanitarian intervention, peacekeeping, fighting terrorism, and counterinsurgency. The scholarship assembled in the final volume (‘Issues’) focuses on the contentions around military values and virtues. It also collects the best work on the ethcis of dealing with extreme emergencies, deterrence, and torture.

With a comprehensive introduction, newly written by the editor, which places the material in its historical and intellectual context, Military Ethics is an essential work of reference and is destined to be valued by scholars and students as a vital one-stop research resource.

Table of Contents



1. John Kelsay, ‘Just War, Jihad, and the Study of Comparative Ethics’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2010, 24, 2.


2. Paul Ramsey, ‘The Just War According to St Augustine’, War and the Christian Conscience: How Shall Modern War be Conducted Justly? (Duke University Press, 1961), pp. 15–33.

3. Gregory M. Reichberg, ‘Thomas Aquinas Between Just War and Pacifism’, Journal of Religious Ethics, 2010, 38, 2, 219–41.

4. Christoph A. Stumpf, ‘The Grotian Theology of International Law: Hugo Grotius and the Moral Foundations of International Relations’, Right to War and Right in War (Walter de Gruyter, 2006), pp. 201–40.

5. G. E. M. Anscombe, ‘War and Murder’, in Walter Stein (ed.), Nuclear Weapons: A Catholic Response (Sheed and Ward, 1961).

6. ‘Safeguarding Peace’, Catechism of the Catholic Church, paras. 2302–17.


7. Norman Solomon, ‘The Ethics of War in Judaism’, in Torkel Brekke (ed.), The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective (London, 2006), pp. 39–80.

8. A piece by Moshe David Her newly written for this collection (details to be confirmed).


9. James Turner Johnson, ‘The Idea of Holy War’, The Holy War Idea in Western and Islamic Traditions (Pennsylvania State University Press, 1997), pp. 29–46.

10. Bassam Tibi, ‘War and Peace in Islam’, in Terry Nardin (ed.), The Ethics of War and Peace: Religious and Secular Perspectives (Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 128–45.


11. Richard W. Kaeuper, ‘Evidence on Chivalry and its Interpretation’, Chivalry and Violence in Medieval Europe (Oxford University Press, 2001), pp. 30–44.


12. Torkel Brekke, ‘Between Prudence and Heroism: Ethics of War in the Hindu Tradition’, in Brekke (ed.), The Ethics of War in Asian Civilizations: A Comparative Perspective (London, 2006), pp. 113–44.


13. Tessa Bartholomeusz, ‘In Defense of Dharma: Just-War Ideology in Buddhist Sri Lanka’, Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 1999, 6, 1–16.


14. Gurharpal Singh, ‘Sikhism and Just War’, in Paul Robinson (ed.), Just War in Comparative Perspective (Ashgate, 2003), pp. 126–36.


15. Steven Forde, ‘Varieties of Realism: Thucydides and Machiavelli’, Journal of Politics, 1992, 54, 2, 372–93.

16. Laurie M. Johnson Bagby, ‘Mathematici versus Dogmatici: Understanding the Realist Project through Hobbes’, in W. David Clinton (ed.), The Realist Tradition and Contemporary International Relations (Louisiana State University Press, 2007), pp. 96–116.


17. Robert J. Zydenbos, ‘Jainism as the Religion of Non-Violence’, in Jan E. M. Houben, K. R. von Kooij (eds.), Violence Denied: Violence, Non-Violence and the Rationalization of Violence in South Asian Cultural History (Brill, 1999), pp. 185–210.

18. Theodore J. Koontz, ‘Christian Nonviolence: An Interpretation’, in Terry Nardin (ed.), The Ethics of War and Peace: Religious and Secular Perspectives (Princeton University Press, 1996), pp. 169–96.


Moral Foundations

19. Thomas Nagel, ‘War and Massacre’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1972, 1, 2, 123–44.

20. Richard Wasserstrom, ‘The Laws of War’, Monist, 1972, 56, 1, 1–19.

21. David Rodin, War and Self-Defense (Clarendon Press, 2003), ch. 9.

22. Brian Orend, ‘The Refutation of Realism and Pacifism’, War and International Perspective: A Kantian Perspective (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2000), pp. 127–74.

23. Yitzhak Benbaji, ‘A Defense of the Traditional War Convention’, Ethics, 2008, 118, 464–95.

Level Distinction

24. Jeff McMahan, ‘The Ethics of Killing in War’, Ethics, 2004, 114, 693–733.

25. Michael Walzer, ‘Response to McMahan’s paper’, Philosophia, 2006, 34, 43–5.

26. Jeff McMahan, ‘Killing in War: A Reply to Walzer’, Philosophia, 2006, 34, 47–51.

27. Dan Zupan, ‘A Presumption of the Moral Equality of Combatants: A Citizen-Soldier Perspective’, in David Rodin and Henry Shue (eds.), Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers (Oxford University Press, 2008), pp. 214–25.


28. James T. Johnson, ‘Framing a Debate: Authority to Use Force in Just War Reasoning and International Law’, in Gerhard Beestermoeller, Michael Haspel, and Uwe Trittmann (eds.), ‘What We’re Fighting For…’ (Kohlhammer, 2006), pp. 52–70.

Just Cause

29. Jeff McMahan, ‘Just Cause for War’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2005, 19, 3, 1–21.

30. Thomas Hurka, ‘Liability and Just Cause’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2007, 21, 2, 199–218.

Last Resort

31. Albert C. Pierce, ‘Just War Principles and Economic Sanctions’, Ethics and International Affairs, 1996, 10, 1, 99–113.

32. David Luban, ‘Preventive War’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2004, 32, 3, 207–48.

33. Whitley Kaufman, ‘What’s Wrong with Preventive War? The Moral and Legal Basis for the Preventive Use of Force’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2006, 19, 3, 23–38.


34. Thomas Hurka, ‘Proportionality in the Morality of War’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 2005, 33, 1, 34–66.

Discrimination/Non-combatant Immunity

35. Paul Ramsey, ‘The Genesis of Noncombatant Immunity’, War and the Christian Conscience: How Shall Modern War be Conducted Justly? (Duke University Press, 1961), pp. 34–59.

36. Michael Walzer, Just and Unjust Wars, 4th edn. (Basic Books, 2006), pp. 138–43.

37. Larry May, War Crimes and Just War (Cambridge University Press, 2007), pp. 50–7, 93–117, 167–80.

38. John W. Lango, ‘Nonlethal Weapons, Noncombatant Immunity, and Combatant Nonimmunity: A Study of Just War Theory’, Philosophia, 2010, 38, 3, 475–97.

Chance of Success

39. Daniel Statman, ‘On the Success Condition for Legitimate Self-Defense’, Ethics, 2008, 118, 659–86.

Military Necessity

40. Burrus M. Carnahan, ‘Lincoln, Lieber and the Laws of War: The Origins and Limits of the Principle of Military Necessity’, American Journal of International Law, 1998, 92, 2, 213–31.

Doctrine of Double Effect

41. Warren S. Quinn, ‘Actions, Intentions, and Consequences: The Doctrine of Double Effect’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1989, 18, 4, 334–51.

42. F. M. Kamm, ‘Failures of Just War Theory: Terror, Harm, and Justice’, Ethics, 2004, 114, 650–92.



43. ICRC, ‘International Humanitarian Law and the Challenges of Contemporary Armed Conflicts’, International Review of the Red Cross, 2007, 89, 867, 719–57.

Humanitarian Intervention

44. C. A. J. Coady, The Ethics of Armed Humanitarian Intervention (United States Institute of Peace, 2002), pp. 1–44.

45. Thomas Pogge, ‘Preempting Humanitarian Interventions’, in Alexander Jokic (ed.), Humanitarian Intervention: Moral and Philosophical Issues (Broadview Press, 2004), pp. 93–108.

46. Eric Wester, ‘Last Resort and Preemption: Using Armed Force as a Moral and Penultimate Choice’, Parameters, 2007, 37, 59–70.

47. David Brown, The Sword, the Cross, and the Eagle: The American Christian Just War Tradition (Rowman and Littlefield, 2008), pp. 169–89.

48. George R. Lucas Jr., ‘The Role of the "International Community" in the Just War Tradition: Confronting the Challenges of Humanitarian Intervention and Preemptive War’, Journal of Military Ethics, 2003, 2, 2, 122–44.

Fighting Terrorism

49. Michael Walzer, ‘Terrorism: A Critique of Excuses’, Arguing about War (Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 51–67.

50. Nick Fotion, ‘The Burdens of Terrorism’, in Igor Primoratz (ed.), Terrorism, The Philosophical Issues (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), pp. 44–54.

51. Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin, ‘Military Ethics of Fighting Terrorism: An Israeli Perspective’, Journal of Military Ethics, 2005, 4, 1, 3–32.

52. Bashshar Haydar, ‘The Ethics of Fighting Terror and the Priority of Citizens’, Journal of Military Ethics, 2005, 4, 1, 52–9.

53. Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin, ‘Military Ethics of Fighting Terror: Response’, Journal of Military Ethics, 2005, 4, 1, 60–70.

54. Paul Gilbert, ‘Civilian Immunity in the "New Wars"’, in Igor Primoratz (ed.), Civilian Immunity in War (Oxford University Press, 2007), pp. 201–16.


Military Values

55. Shannon E. French, ‘Why Warriors Need a Code’, The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present (Rowman and Littlefield, 2003), pp. 1–19.

56. Richard A. Gabriel, The Warrior’s Way: A Treatise on Military Ethics (Canadian Defence Academy Press, 2007), pp. 69–105.

57. Asa Kasher, ‘The Professional Identity of a Military Force’, in Arto Mutanen (ed.), The Many Faces of Military Studies: A Search for Fundamental Questions (Finnish Naval Academy, 2008), pp. 17–30.

58. Paul Robinson, ‘Ethics Training and Development in the Military’, Parameters, 2007, 37, 22–36.

59. Douglas N. Walton, ‘Courage, Relativism and Practical Reasoning’, Philosophia, 1990, 20, 1–2, 227–40.

60. James H. Toner, ‘Temperance and the Profession of Arms’, Morals Under the Gun: The Cardinal Virtues, Military Ethics, and American Society (University Press of Kentucky, 2000), pp. 125–42.

Private Military Companies

61. James Pattison, ‘Just War Theory and the Privatization of Military Force’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2008, 22, 2, 143–62.

62. Joseph Runzo, ‘Benevolence, Honourable Soldiers and Private Military Companies: Reformulating Just War Theory’, in Andrew Alexandra, Deane-Peter Baker, and Marina Caparini (eds.), Private Military and Security Companies: Ethics, Policies and Military-Civil Relations (Routledge, 2008), pp. 56–69.

Extreme Emergency

63. Michael Walzer, ‘Emergency Ethics’, Arguing about War (Yale University Press, 2004), pp. 33–50.

64. Brian Orend, ‘Is there a Supreme Emergency Exemption?’, in Mark Evans (ed.), Just War Theory: A Reappraisal (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), pp. 71–89.

65. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, ‘Were the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Justified?’, in Yuki Tanaka and Marilyn B. Young (eds.), Bombing Civilians: A Twentieth-Century History (The New Press, 2009), pp. 97–134, 254–60.

Nuclear Deterrence

66. Richard Wasserstrom, ‘War, Nuclear War, and Nuclear Deterrence: Some Conceptual and Moral Issues’, Ethics, 1985, 95, 3, 424–44.

67. Christopher W. Morris, ‘A Contractarian Defense of Nuclear Deterrence’, Ethics, 1985, 95, 3, 479–96.

68. Steven Lee, ‘The Morality of Nuclear Deterrence: Hostage Holding and Consequences’, Ethics, 1985, 95, 3, 549–66.

69. Thomas E. Doyle II, ‘Reviving Nuclear Ethics: A Renewed Research Agenda for the Twenty-First Century’, Ethics and International Affairs, 2010, 24, 3, 287–308.


70. Henry Shue, ‘Torture’, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 1978, 7, 2, 124–43.

71. Mirko Bagaric and Julie Clarke, Torture: When the Unthinkable is Morally Permissible (State University of New York Press, 2007), pp. 1–7, 34–51, 69–73, 87–9, 103–6, 109.

72. Joyce S. Dubensky and Rachel Lavery, ‘Torture: An Interreligious Debate’, in Karen J. Greenberg (ed.), The Torture Debate in America (Cambridge University Press, 2006), pp. 162–82.

Future Peace

73. Martha C. Nussbaum, ‘Compassion and Terror’, in James P. Sterba (ed.), Terrorism and International Justice (Oxford University Press, 2003), pp. 229–52.

74. Andrew Rigby, ‘Forgiveness and Reconciliation in Jus Post Bellum’, in Mark Evans (ed.), Just War Theory: A Reappraisal (Edinburgh University Press, 2005), pp. 177–200.

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