Just War and the Ethics of Espionage  book cover
1st Edition

Just War and the Ethics of Espionage

ISBN 9781138546103
Published February 12, 2018 by Routledge
172 Pages

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Book Description

The War on Terror has raised many new, thorny issues of how we can determine acceptable action in defense of our liberties. Western leaders have increasingly used spies to execute missions unsuitable to the military. These operations, which often result in the contravening of international law and previously held norms of acceptable moral behavior, raise critical ethical questions—is spying limited by moral considerations? If so, what are they and how are they determined? Cole argues that spying is an act of force that may be a justifiable means to secure order and justice among political communities. He explores how the just war moral tradition, with its roots in Christian moral theology and Western moral philosophy, history, custom and law might help us come to grips with the moral problems of spying. This book will appeal to anyone interested in applied religious ethics, moral theology and philosophy, political philosophy, international law, international relations, military intellectual history, the War on Terror, and Christian theological politics.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. Spying as a Morally Justifiable Part of Statecraft  2. Testing the Limits of Discrimination and Proportionality in Spying  3. Lying and Deception  4. The Justifiability of Covert Operations: Four Case Studies  5. Intelligence Collection and Coercive Interrogation  6. Assassination  Afterward

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Darrell Cole is Associate Professor of Religion and the Chair of the Department of Comparative Religion at Drew University, USA.


"This book brings a just war perspective to bear on the ethics of spying, a topic of major importance in warfare but one that has usually been neglected in military ethics."–James Turner Johnson, Rutgers University, USA

"In this pioneering book, Dr. Cole applies the just war tradition to the ethics of espionage. He brilliantly uncovers hidden truths that are so obvious after reading them as to be virtually unassailable. A must-read for anyone interested in political ethics or intelligence studies." –Davis Brown, Maryville University of St. Louis, USA