This book offers a systematic critique of recent interventionist just war theories, which have made the recourse to force easier to justify.
The work argues that these theories, including neo-traditionalist prerogatives to national leaders and a cosmopolitan human rights paradigm, offer criteria for war that are insufficient in principle and dangerous in practice. Drawing on a plurality of moral considerations, the book recommends a modified legalist national defense paradigm, which includes an atrocity threshold for humanitarian intervention and a legitimate authorization requirement. The plausibility of this restrictive framework is applied to case studies, including the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, ongoing targeted killing, and possible interventions in Syria and elsewhere. Various arguments which seek to loosen the criteria for war are also systematically analyzed and criticized.
This book will be of much interest to students of just war theory, military history, ethics, political philosophy, and international relations.
Table of Contents
Part I: Principled Just Recourse over Realism and Neo-Traditionalism
1. Just War Theory and the Ethical Restraint of War
2. Presumptions, Principles, and Prerogatives in War: Against Hawkish Neo-Traditionalism
3. Why Punishment is Not a Just Cause for War
Part II: The Need for a Restrictively High, Legalist Just Cause Threshold
4. Against the New Cosmopolitan Interventionism: Why Human Rights Protection is Not Sufficient Cause for War
5. What is it Good For? Consequences and the Limits of War
6. Why Two Wrongs Cannot Make a Right Use of Force: A Critique of Compound Just Causes
Part III: Procedures for the Reasonable Limitation of War
7. Jus Ad (Continuandum) Bellum: Reevaluating the Justice of Interventions over Time
8. The Nature and Necessity of Legitimate Authorization
9. Conclusion: Applying Non-Interventionist Jus Ad Bellum
Jordy Rocheleau is Professor of Philosophy at Austin Peay State University, USA. He is co-author of Rights and Wrongs in the College Classroom (2007).