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This volume offers a set of concise and accessible introductions to the seminal figures in the historical development of the just war tradition.
In what, if any, circumstances are political communities justified in going to war? And what limits should apply to the conduct of any such war? The just war tradition is a body of thought that helps us think through these very questions. Its core ideas have been subject to fierce debate for over 2,000 years. Yet they continue to play a prominent role in how political and military leaders address the challenges posed by the use of force in international society. Until now there has been no text that offers concise and accessible introductions to the key figures associated with the tradition. Stepping into this breach, Just War Thinkers provides a set of clear but detailed essays by leading experts on nineteen seminal thinkers, from Cicero to Jeff McMahan. This volume challenges the reader to think about how traditions are constituted—who is included and excluded, and how that is determined—and how they serve to enable, constrain, and indeed channel subsequent thought, debate, and exchange.
This book will be of much interest to students of just war tradition and theory, ethics and war, philosophy, security studies and IR.
'This book is an excellent introduction to the debates currently going on about just war theory and about actual just and unjust wars. Readers will find the centuries-long arguments about when to fight and how to fight carefully analyzed and evaluated in a series of highly intelligent and inter-connected essays.' -- Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study, USA
'Just War Thinkers is an excellent book. Each of its chapters is devoted to a major just war theorist, starting with Cicero and ending with Jeff McMahan. It does scholars the huge service of reviewing both familiar figures (Augustine, Vitoria, Pufendorf, and Kant – to name but a few), and drawing attention to comparatively and unfairly neglected one (for example, Gratian and Las Casas). The chapters on 20th and 21st century thinkers round off a clearly written, accessible, and engaging tour d’horizon.' -- Cecile Fabre, University of Oxford, UK
'Drawing on expert analysis of key just war theorists, Brunstetter and O’Driscoll have produced an excellent primer on this key tradition in international thought. The editors call it an introduction, but there is much here that will delight and inform researchers at all stages of their careers.' -- Lucian Ashworth, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada
'This is an important book, just right for our times. By engaging with some of the greatest thinkers within the just war tradition, the eminent authors and editors of this book help us understand both the structure and context of just war discourse. This volume will be of use to students and scholars within philosophy, politics, history, religion, and law – and to anyone who is interested in understanding the rights and wrongs of warfare.' -- Henrik Syse, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), Norway
Foreword, Joel H. Rosenthal
Introduction, Daniel Brunstetter and Cian O’Driscoll
1. Cicero, Gavin Stewart
2. Augustine, James Turner Johnson
3. Gratian, Rory Cox
4. Thomas Aquinas, Gregory Reichberg
5. Christine de Pizan, Cian O’Driscoll
6. Francisco de Vitoria, Alex Bellamy
7. Bartolome de las Casas, Daniel Brunstetter
8. Francisco Suarez, Grady Scott Davis
9. Alberico Gentili, John Kelsay
10. Hugo Grotius, Anthony F. Lang, Jr.
11. Samuel Pufendorf, Luke Glanville
12. Emmerich de Vattel, Theo Christov
13. Immanuel Kant, Brian Orend
14. Francis Lieber, Stephanie Carvin
15. Paul Ramsey, Adam Hollowell
16. Michael Walzer, Chris Brown
17. Jean Bethke Elshtain, Nicholas Rengger
18. James Turner Johnson, Nahed Artoul Zehr
19. Jeff McMahan, Heather Roff
Conclusion, Daniel Brunstetter and Cian O’Driscoll
Ethical judgments are relevant to all phases of protracted violent conflict and inter-state war. Before, during, and after the tumult, martial forces are guided, in part, by their sense of morality for assessing whether an action is (morally) right or wrong, an event has good and/or bad consequences, and an individual (or group) is inherently virtuous or evil. This new book series focuses on the morality of decisions by military and political leaders to engage in violence and the normative underpinnings of military strategy and tactics in the prosecution of the war.