In recent years questions of ethical responsibility and justice in war have become increasingly significant in international relations. This focus has been precipitated by United States (U.S.) led invasions in Afghanistan and Iraq. In turn, Western conceptions of ethical responsibility have been largely informed by human rights based understandings of morality.
This book directly addresses the question of what it means to act ethically in times of war by drawing upon first-hand accounts of U.S. war fighting in Iraq during the 2003 invasion and occupation. The book focuses upon the prominent rights based justification of war of Michael Walzer. Through an in-depth critical reading of Walzer’s work, this title demonstrates the broader problems implicit to human rights based justifications of war and elucidates an alternative account of ethical responsibility: ethics as response.
Putting forward a compelling case for people to remain troubled and engaged with questions of ethical responsibility in war, this work will be of great interest to students and scholars in a range of areas including international relations theory, ethics and security studies.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction. The Tower of Babel and the Ideal of Unity. Michael Walzer and the Just War Tradition. Deconstruction as Methodology. Historical Analysis and the Problem of Representation. With whom does the historical writer of historicism actually empathise? Structure of the Book. Conclusion Chapter 2: Morality, Community and the Justification of War. Introduction. There is a Thin Man inside Every Fat Man. Self-determination and Membership. Declaration and the Birth of Community. Membership and Alterity. War and Maximal Morality. Temporal Revelation and Being. Différance and Secular Theology. Conclusion Chapter 3: Violence, Ethics and the Invasion of Iraq. A Brief History of Iraq. The Pre-War Imaging of Justice in Iraq. Occupation and Legal Authority. Postwar Security. De-Ba’athification and Sunni Resistance. Religious Authority and the Iraqi Constitution. The 2005 Election and Ethno-Sectarian Violence. Conclusion Chapter 4: Derrida and Ethics. Introduction. Ethics as first philosophy. Community as the possibility of justice. Ethical Action as Sacrifice. Undecidability as Justice for the Other. Conclusion Chapter 5: Non-combatant Immunity and the Sacrifice of Rights. Introduction. Identifying the Target. Combatant Rights. Justifying the Loss of Rights. Simply by Fighting. Danger and Threat. Freedom and Sacrifice. Conclusion. Chapter 6: Double Effect and its Parasites. Introduction. The Doctrine of Double Effect. Pardon me for not Meaning to … In All Good Faith. Policing with Due Care. Deepening Double Effect. Siege Warfare: An Illustrative Example. Conclusion: Ethics as Double Effect. Conclusion: Ethics as Response. What the Hell is Water? Shattering Sisyphus. Responding to Iraqis
Ronan O’Callaghan has recently completed his PhD in Politics at the University of Manchester. He is currently a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Central Lancashire.