1st Edition

Total Lawfare New Defense and Lessons from China’s Unrestricted Lawfare Program

By Patrick S. Nash, Deniz Guzel Copyright 2024

    This book advocates for a novel doctrine of ‘total lawfare’ as part of a comprehensive approach to modern hybrid warfare.

    The book begins by introducing the military concept of ‘limited lawfare’ in the context of modern geopolitical conditions. It proceeds to set out a conceptual history of lawfare in the West, highlighting conceptual shortcomings and NATO’s limited capabilities in this branch of hybrid warfare. It then provides a comparative case study and strategic threat assessment of the Chinese concept of ‘unrestricted lawfare’. Against this, the book grounds an ethical doctrine of ‘total lawfare’ within the Western jurisprudential tradition and translates this into practice as a key pillar of modern defense strategy under the rule of law. The book concludes by advocating for a Thielian ‘New Defense’ industry centered upon ‘total lawfare’ as a legitimate and effective Western response to enemy aggression.

    The book will be of interest to academics, policy-makers, and students working in the fields of lawfare, jurisprudence, and military law.

    1. Opening Moves

    2. The Chinese Way of Unrestricted Lawfare

    3. A Western Way of Total Lawfare



    Patrick S. Nash is Founder Director of the Pharos Foundation in Oxford. He was previously a Visiting Fellow at the Faculty of Theology and Religion at Oxford, and a Research Fellow at the Woolf Institute in Cambridge. He has taught jurisprudence, public law, criminal law, tort law, and family law at the universities of Bristol and Newcastle. He was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 2019 and is a member of Lincoln’s Inn. His first monograph, British Islam and English Law, was published by Cambridge University Press in 2022.

    Deniz Guzel practices commercial litigation and arbitration at the international law firm, CMS, with experience in class action disputes and public international law. Previously, he practiced international criminal law at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia and worked at various Westminster-based think tanks. Deniz holds an MA with Distinction in International Peace and Security from King’s College London and an LLB from the University of Bristol, where he won the prize for Roman Law.