Protecting Civilians During Violent Conflict: Theoretical and Practical Issues for the 21st Century (Hardback) book cover

Protecting Civilians During Violent Conflict

Theoretical and Practical Issues for the 21st Century

By Igor Primoratz

Edited by David W. Lovell

© 2012 – Routledge

368 pages

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About the Book

There is almost unanimous agreement that civilians should be protected from the direct effects of violent conflict, and that the distinction between combatant and non-combatant should be respected. But what are the fundamental ethical questions about civilian immunity? Are new styles of conflict making this distinction redundant? Eloquently combining theory and practice, leading scholars from the fields of political science, law and philosophy have been brought together to provide an essential overview of some of the major ethical, legal and political issues with regard to protecting civilians caught up in modern inter- and intra-state conflicts. In doing so, they examine what is being done, and what can be done, to make soldiers more aware of their responsibilities in this area under international law and the ethics of war, and more able to respond appropriately to the challenges that will confront them in the field. 'Protecting Civilians During Violent Conflict' presents a clear-eyed look at the dilemmas facing regular combatants as they confront enemies in the modern battlespace, and especially the complications arising from the new styles of conflict where enemy and civilian populations merge.


'As unconventional and intra-state conflict situations abound, this timely volume addresses the burgeoning and complex ethical problems posed by the risk of civilian casualties. If the moral claims of non-combatants are not absolute, how strong are they? Readers of this volume will gain a clear picture of the values at stake and the special difficulties of implementing them in the twenty-first century.' John Kleinig, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA

Table of Contents

Contents: Protecting civilians during violent conflict: an issue in context, David W. Lovell; Are attacks on civilians always wrong?, Stephen Nathanson; Civilian immunity as an almost absolute moral rule, Igor Primoratz; Collateral damage: intending evil and doing evil, Dean Cocking; The protection of civilians from violence and the effects of attacks in international humanitarian law, Hitoshi Nasu; Discriminate warfare: the military necessity-humanity dialectic of international humanitarian law, Michael N. Schmitt; Who is protected under international humanitarian law? Finding a definition of 'direct participation in hostilities', Helen Durham and Eve Massingham; Protecting civilians in armed conflict through rules of engagement, Rob McLaughlin; Educating for ethical behaviour? Preparing military leaders for ethical challenges, David W. Lovell; First do no harm: refugee law as a response to armed conflict, Penelope Mathew; Private military and security companies and the 'civilianization' of war, Andrew Alexandra; Remote killing and drive-by wars, David Whetham; Discrimination and non-lethal weapons: issues for the future military, Stephen Coleman; Surviving in a war zone: the problem of civilian casualties in Afghanistan, William Maley; The protection of civilians during Israeli-Hamas conflict: the Goldstone Report, Richard D. Rosen; An assessment of the Gaza Report's contribution to the development of international humanitarian law, Susan Breau; References; Index.

About the Author/Editor

David Lovell is Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences, at the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy , Australia and Igor Primoratz is Professorial Fellow at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, Charles Sturt University, Canberra, and Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

About the Series

Military and Defence Ethics

Military and Defence Ethics
There is an urgent and growing need for all those involved in matters of national defence - from policy makers to armaments manufacturers to members of the armed forces - to behave, and to be seen to behave, ethically. The ethical dimensions of making decisions and taking action in the defence arena are the subject of intense and ongoing media interest and public scrutiny. It is vital that all those involved be given the benefit of the finest possible advice and support. Such advice is best sought from those who have great practical experience or theoretical wisdom (or both) in their particular field and publication of their work in this series will ensure that it is readily accessible to all who need it.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Violence in Society