Just War

Just War

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Just war theory is a doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

 of military ethics of Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicist
Ethicist
An ethicist is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgement...

s and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict
War
War is a state of organized, armed, and often prolonged conflict carried on between states, nations, or other parties typified by extreme aggression, social disruption, and usually high mortality. War should be understood as an actual, intentional and widespread armed conflict between political...

 ought to meet philosophical
Philosophy
Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic approach and its reliance on rational...

, religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 or political
Politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

 criteria.

Origins



The concept of justification for war under certain conditions goes back at least to Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

. However its importance is connected to Christian medieval theory beginning from Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo
Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

 and Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

. The first work dedicated specifically to it was De bellis justis of Stanisław of Skarbimierz, who justified war of the Kingdom of Poland
Kingdom of Poland (1385–1569)
The Kingdom of Poland of the Jagiellons was the Polish state created by the accession of Jogaila , Grand Duke of Lithuania, to the Polish throne in 1386. The Union of Krewo or Krėva Act, united Poland and Lithuania under the rule of a single monarch...

 with Teutonic Knights
Teutonic Knights
The Order of Brothers of the German House of Saint Mary in Jerusalem , commonly the Teutonic Order , is a German medieval military order, in modern times a purely religious Catholic order...

. Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria
Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

 criticized the conquest of America by the Kingdom of Spain. With Alberico Gentili
Alberico Gentili
Alberico Gentili was an Italian jurist. He left Italy due to his Protestant faith, travelled in Central Europe, and emigrated to England. In 1580 he became regius professor of civil law at the University of Oxford...

 and Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius
Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

 just war theory was replaced by international law
International law
Public international law concerns the structure and conduct of sovereign states; analogous entities, such as the Holy See; and intergovernmental organizations. To a lesser degree, international law also may affect multinational corporations and individuals, an impact increasingly evolving beyond...

 theory, codified as a set of rules, which today still encompass the points commonly debated, with some modifications. The importance of the theory of just war faded with revival of classical republicanism
Classical republicanism
Classical republicanism is a form of republicanism developed in the Renaissance inspired by the governmental forms and writings of classical antiquity. The earliest examples of the school were classical writers such as Aristotle, Polybius, and Cicero...

 beginning with works of Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes
Thomas Hobbes of Malmesbury , in some older texts Thomas Hobbs of Malmsbury, was an English philosopher, best known today for his work on political philosophy...

.

The Just War theory is an authoritative Catholic Church teaching confirmed by the United States Catholic Bishops in their pastoral letter, The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response
The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response
The Challenge of Peace: God's Promise and Our Response is a pastoral letter of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, which applies the Just War Theory to the moral problem of nuclear proliferation in the era of the Cold War, issued in 1983. It is part of the Catholic social teaching...

, issued in 1983. More recently, the Catechism of the Catholic Church
Catechism of the Catholic Church
The Catechism of the Catholic Church is the official text of the teachings of the Catholic Church. A provisional, "reference text" was issued by Pope John Paul II on October 11, 1992 — "the thirtieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council" — with his apostolic...

, in paragraph 2309, lists four strict conditions for "legitimate defense by military force":
  • the damage inflicted by the aggressor on the nation or community of nations must be lasting, grave, and certain;
  • all other means of putting an end to it must have been shown to be impractical or ineffective;
  • there must be serious prospects of success;
  • the use of arms must not produce evils and disorders graver than the evil to be eliminated. The power as well as the precision of modern means of destruction weighs very heavily in evaluating this condition.


While Nicholas Adams claims such views have a long tradition, critics claim the application of Just War is only relativistic
Relativism
Relativism is the concept that points of view have no absolute truth or validity, having only relative, subjective value according to differences in perception and consideration....

, and directly contradicts more universal philosophical
Universality (philosophy)
In philosophy, universalism is a doctrine or school claiming universal facts can be discovered and is therefore understood as being in opposition to relativism. In certain religions, universality is the quality ascribed to an entity whose existence is consistent throughout the universe...

 traditions such as the Ethic of reciprocity
Ethic of reciprocity
The Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity is a maxim, ethical code, or moralitythat essentially states either of the following:* : One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself....

.

Just War theorists combine both a moral abhorrence towards war with a readiness to accept that war may sometimes be necessary. The criteria of the just war tradition act as an aid to determining whether resorting to arms is morally permissible. Just War theories are attempts "to distinguish between justifiable and unjustifiable uses of organized armed forces"; they attempt "to conceive of how the use of arms might be restrained, made more humane, and ultimately directed towards the aim of establishing lasting peace
Peace
Peace is a state of harmony characterized by the lack of violent conflict. Commonly understood as the absence of hostility, peace also suggests the existence of healthy or newly healed interpersonal or international relationships, prosperity in matters of social or economic welfare, the...

 and justice
Justice
Justice is a concept of moral rightness based on ethics, rationality, law, natural law, religion, or equity, along with the punishment of the breach of said ethics; justice is the act of being just and/or fair.-Concept of justice:...

."

The Just War tradition addresses the morality of the use of force in two parts: when it is right to resort to armed force (the concern of jus ad bellum
Jus ad bellum
Jus ad bellum is a set of criteria that are to be consulted before engaging in war, in order to determine whether entering into war is permissible; that is, whether it is a just war....

) and what is acceptable in using such force (the concern of jus in bello). In more recent years, a third category — jus post bellum
Jus post bellum
Jus post bellum deals with the termination phase of war. The idea was written about by Brian Orend to reflect the need for rules to end wars completely and fairly.-Purpose:...

— has been added, which governs the justice of war termination and peace agreements, as well as the prosecution of war criminals.

Anarcho-capitalist scholar Murray Rothbard
Murray Rothbard
Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

 stated, "a just war exists when a people tries to ward off the threat of coercive domination by another people, or to overthrow an already-existing domination. A war is unjust, on the other hand, when a people try to impose domination on another people, or try to retain an already existing coercive rule over them."

Jonathan Riley Smith writes,

The consensus among Christians on the use of violence has changed radically since the crusades were fought. The just war theory prevailing for most of the last two centuries — that violence is an evil which can in certain situations be condoned as the lesser of evils — is relatively young. Although it has inherited some elements (the criteria of legitimate authority, just cause, right intention) from the older war theory that first evolved around A.D. 400, it has rejected two premises that underpinned all medieval just wars, including crusades: first, that violence could be employed on behalf of Christ's intentions for mankind and could even be directly authorized by him; and second, that it was a morally neutral force which drew whatever ethical coloring it had from the intentions of the perpetrators.

Criteria of Just War theory



Just War Theory has two sets of criteria. The first establishing jus ad bellum, the right to go to war; the second establishing jus in bello, right conduct within war.

Jus ad bellum



Just cause: The reason for going to war needs to be just and cannot therefore be solely for recapturing things taken or punishing people who have done wrong; innocent life must be in imminent danger and intervention must be to protect life. A contemporary view of just cause was expressed in 1993 when the US Catholic Conference said: "Force may be used only to correct a grave, public evil, i.e., aggression or massive violation of the basic human rights of whole populations."
Comparative justice: While there may be rights and wrongs on all sides of a conflict, to overcome the presumption against the use of force, the injustice suffered by one party must significantly outweigh that suffered by the other. Some theorists such as Brian Orend
Brian Orend
Brian Orend is the Director of International Studies and a professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. He specializes in Ethics.Orend's works focus on just war theory and human rights...

 omit this term, seeing it as fertile ground for exploitation by bellicose regimes.
Competent authority: Only duly constituted public authorities may wage war. "A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice. Dictatorships (i.e. Hitler's Regime) or a deceptive military actions (i.e. the 1968 US bombing of Cambodia) are typically considered as violations of this criterion. The importance of this condition is key. Plainly, we cannot have a genuine process of judging a just war within a system that represses the process of genuine justice. A just war must be initiated by a political authority within a political system that allows distinctions of justice".<http://oregonstate.edu/instruct/phl201/modules/just_war_theory/criteria_intro.html>
Right intention: Force may be used only in a truly just cause and solely for that purpose—correcting a suffered wrong is considered a right intention, while material gain or maintaining economies is not.
Probability of success: Arms may not be used in a futile cause or in a case where disproportionate measures are required to achieve success;
Last resort: Force may be used only after all peaceful and viable alternatives have been seriously tried and exhausted or are clearly not practical. It may be clear that the other side is using negotiations as a delaying tactic and will not make meaningful concessions.
Proportionality: The anticipated benefits of waging a war must be proportionate to its expected evils or harms. This principle is also known as the principle of macro-proportionality, so as to distinguish it from the jus in bello principle of proportionality.

In modern terms, just war is waged in terms of self-defense, or in defense of another (with sufficient evidence).

Jus in bello


Once war has begun, just war theory (Jus in bello) also directs how combatant
Combatant
A combatant is someone who takes a direct part in the hostilities of an armed conflict. If a combatant follows the law of war, then they are considered a privileged combatant, and upon capture they qualify as a prisoner of war under the Third Geneva Convention...

s are to act or should act:

Distinction
Distinction (law)
Distinction is a principle under international humanitarian law governing the legal use of force in an armed conflict, whereby belligerents must distinguish between combatants and civilians...

: Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of distinction. The acts of war should be directed towards enemy combatants, and not towards non-combatant
Non-combatant
Non-combatant is a term in the law of war describing civilians not taking a direct part in hostilities, as well as persons such as medical personnel and military chaplains who are regular soldiers but are protected because of their function as well as soldiers who are hors de combat ; that is, sick,...

s caught in circumstances they did not create. The prohibited acts include bombing civilian residential areas that include no military target and committing acts of terrorism or reprisal against civilians.

Proportionality: Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of proportionality. An attack cannot be launched on a military objective in the knowledge that the incidental civilian injuries would be clearly excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage (principle of proportionality).

Military necessity
Military necessity
Military necessity, along with distinction, and proportionality, are three important principles of international humanitarian law governing the legal use of force in an armed conflict.-Attacks:...

: Just war conduct should be governed by the principle of minimum force. An attack or action must be intended to help in the military defeat of the enemy, it must be an attack on a military objective, and the harm caused to civilians or civilian property must be proportional and not excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated. This principle is meant to limit excessive and unnecessary death and destruction.

Fair treatment of prisoners of War: Enemy soldiers who surrendered or who are captured no longer pose a threat. It is therefore wrong to torture them or otherwise mistreat them.

No means malum in se: Soldiers may not use weapons or other methods of warfare which are considered as evil, such as mass rape, forcing soldiers to fight against their own side or using weapons whose effects cannot be controlled (e.g. nuclear weapons).

Examples


The Catholic Church in the US were in support of both World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 and World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. In April 1917, two weeks after President Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson
Thomas Woodrow Wilson was the 28th President of the United States, from 1913 to 1921. A leader of the Progressive Movement, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913...

 declared war on Germany, Cardinal James Gibbons of Baltimore, the de facto head of the U.S. Catholic church, issued a letter that all Catholics were to support the war. As an example of the position US Catholic bishops took to the war against Germany, here is a quote from William Manning:

Ending a war: Jus post bellum


In recent years, some theorists, such as Gary Bass
Gary Bass
Gary D. Bass is the founder and Executive Director of OMB Watch.Bass received a combined doctorate in psychology and education from the University of Michigan. He was president of the Human Services Information Center before founding OMB Watch in 1983...

, Louis Iasiello
Louis Iasiello
Rear Admiral Louis V. Iasiello, USN is a retired American Navy officer who served as the 23rd Chief of Chaplains of the United States Navy from 2003 to 2006. He is a well known Just War theorist, and his PhD dissertation is entitled: Jus In Bello: Key Issues for a Contemporary Assessment of Just...

 and Brian Orend
Brian Orend
Brian Orend is the Director of International Studies and a professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. He specializes in Ethics.Orend's works focus on just war theory and human rights...

, have proposed a third category within Just War theory. Jus post bellum
Jus post bellum
Jus post bellum deals with the termination phase of war. The idea was written about by Brian Orend to reflect the need for rules to end wars completely and fairly.-Purpose:...

concerns justice after a war, including peace treaties, reconstruction, war crimes trials, and war reparations
War reparations
War reparations are payments intended to cover damage or injury during a war. Generally, the term war reparations refers to money or goods changing hands, rather than such property transfers as the annexation of land.- History :...

. Orend, for instance, proposes the following principles:

Just cause for termination:A state may terminate a war if there has been a reasonable vindication of the rights that were violated in the first place, and if the aggressor is willing to negotiate the terms of surrender. These terms of surrender include a formal apology, compensations, war crimes trials and perhaps rehabilitation. Alternatively, a state may end a war if it becomes clear that any just goals of the war cannot be reached at all or cannot be reached without using excessive force.
Right intention:A state must only terminate a war under the conditions agreed upon in the above criteria. Revenge is not permitted. The victor state must also be willing to apply the same level of objectivity and investigation into any war crimes its armed forces may have committed.
Public declaration and authority:The terms of peace must be made by a legitimate authority, and the terms must be accepted by a legitimate authority.
Discrimination:The victor state is to differentiate between political and military leaders, and combatants and civilians. Punitive measures are to be limited to those directly responsible for the conflict. Truth and reconciliation may sometimes be more important than punishing war crimes.
Proportionality:Any terms of surrender must be proportional to the rights that were initially violated. Draconian measures, absolutionist crusades and any attempt at denying the surrendered country the right to participate in the world community are not permitted.

Alternative theories

  • Militarism
    Militarism
    Militarism is defined as: the belief or desire of a government or people that a country should maintain a strong military capability and be prepared to use it aggressively to defend or promote national interests....

     - Militarism is the belief that war is not inherently bad but can be a beneficial aspect of society.
  • Realism - The core proposition of realism is a skepticism as to whether moral concepts such as justice can be applied to the conduct of international affairs. Proponents of realism believe that moral concepts should never prescribe, nor circumscribe, a state's behaviour. Instead, a state should place an emphasis on state security and self-interest. One form of realism - descriptive realism - proposes that states cannot act morally, while another form - prescriptive realism - argues that the motivating factor for a state is self-interest. Just wars that violate Just Wars principles effectively constitute a branch of realism.
  • Revolution
    Revolution
    A revolution is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time.Aristotle described two types of political revolution:...

     and Civil War
    Civil war
    A civil war is a war between organized groups within the same nation state or republic, or, less commonly, between two countries created from a formerly-united nation state....

     - Just War Theory states that a just war must have just authority. To the extent that this is interpreted as a legitimate government, this leaves little room for revolutionary war or civil war, in which an illegitimate entity may declare war for reasons that fit the remaining criteria of Just War Theory. This is less of a problem if the "just authority" is widely interpreted as "the will of the people" or similar. Article 3 of the 1949 Geneva Conventions
    Geneva Conventions
    The Geneva Conventions comprise four treaties, and three additional protocols, that establish the standards of international law for the humanitarian treatment of the victims of war...

     side-steps this issue by stating that if one of the parties to a civil war is a High Contracting Party (in practice, the state recognised by the international community,) both Parties to the conflict are bound "as a minimum, the following [humanitarian] provisions." Article 4 of the Third Geneva Convention
    Third Geneva Convention
    The Third Geneva Convention, relative to the treatment of prisoners of war, is one of the four treaties of the Geneva Conventions. It was first adopted in 1929, but was significantly updated in 1949...

     also makes clear that the treatment of prisoners of war is binding on both parties even when captured soldiers have an "allegiance to a government or an authority not recognized by the Detaining Power."
  • Nonviolent struggle - The "just war" criterion of "last resort" requires believers to look for alternative means of conflict. The methods of nonviolent action permit the waging of political struggle without resort to violence. Historical evidence and political theory can be examined to determine whether nonviolent struggle can be expected to be effective in future conflicts. If nonviolent action is determined effective, then the requirements for "just war" are not met.
  • Absolutism
    Moral absolutism
    Moral absolutism is an ethical view that certain actions are absolutely right or wrong, regardless of other contexts such as their consequences or the intentions behind them. Thus stealing, for instance, might be considered to be always immoral, even if done to promote some other good , and even if...

     - Absolutism holds that there are various ethical rules that are absolute. Breaking such moral rules is never legitimate and therefore is always unjustifiable.
  • Pacifism
    Pacifism
    Pacifism is the opposition to war and violence. The term "pacifism" was coined by the French peace campaignerÉmile Arnaud and adopted by other peace activists at the tenth Universal Peace Congress inGlasgow in 1901.- Definition :...

     - Pacifism is the belief that war of any kind is morally unacceptable and/or pragmatically not worth the cost. Pacifists extend humanitarian concern not just to enemy civilians but also to combatants, especially conscripts. Just War critics have included Ben Salmon
    Ben Salmon
    Ben Joseph Salmon was an American Christian pacifist, Roman Catholic, conscientious objector and outspoken critic of Just War theology....

    , who was sentenced to death during World War I (later revised to 25 years hard labor) for desertion and spreading propaganda.
  • Right of self-defence - The theory of self-defence based on rational self-interest maintains that the use of retaliatory force is justified against repressive nations that break the zero aggression principle. In addition, if a free country is itself subject to foreign aggression, it is morally imperative for that nation to defend itself and its citizens by whatever means necessary. Thus, any means to achieve a swift and complete victory over the enemy is imperative. This view is prominently held by Objectivists
    Objectivism (Ayn Rand)
    Objectivism is a philosophy created by the Russian-American philosopher and novelist Ayn Rand . Objectivism holds that reality exists independent of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception...

    .
  • Consequentialism
    Consequentialism
    Consequentialism is the class of normative ethical theories holding that the consequences of one's conduct are the ultimate basis for any judgment about the rightness of that conduct...

     - The moral theory most frequently summarized in the words "the end justifies the means," which tends to support the just war theory (unless the just war causes less beneficial means to become necessary, which further requires worst actions for self-defense with bad consequences).

List of just war theorists



  • Cicero
    Cicero
    Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

     (106 BCE–43 BCE)
  • Ambrose
    Ambrose
    Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

     (337/340–397)
  • St. Augustine of Hippo
    Augustine of Hippo
    Augustine of Hippo , also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop of Hippo Regius . He was a Latin-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman Africa Province...

     (354–430)
  • St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274)
  • Stanislaw of Skarbimierz
    Stanislaw of Skarbimierz
    Stanisław of Skarbimierz was, from 1400, rector of the University of Krakow. He authored Sermones sapientiales , comprising 113 sermons....

     (1360–1431)
  • Francisco de Vitoria
    Francisco de Vitoria
    Francisco de Vitoria, OP was a Spanish Renaissance Roman Catholic philosopher, theologian and jurist, founder of the tradition in philosophy known as the School of Salamanca, noted especially for his contributions to the theory of just war and international law...

     (1492–1546)
  • Francisco Suarez
    Francisco Suárez
    Francisco Suárez was a Spanish Jesuit priest, philosopher and theologian, one of the leading figures of the School of Salamanca movement, and generally regarded among the greatest scholastics after Thomas Aquinas....

     (1548–1617)
  • Alberico Gentili
    Alberico Gentili
    Alberico Gentili was an Italian jurist. He left Italy due to his Protestant faith, travelled in Central Europe, and emigrated to England. In 1580 he became regius professor of civil law at the University of Oxford...

     (1552–1608)
  • Hugo Grotius
    Hugo Grotius
    Hugo Grotius , also known as Huig de Groot, Hugo Grocio or Hugo de Groot, was a jurist in the Dutch Republic. With Francisco de Vitoria and Alberico Gentili he laid the foundations for international law, based on natural law...

     (1583–1645)
  • Samuel Pufendorf (1632–1694)
  • John Locke
    John Locke
    John Locke FRS , widely known as the Father of Liberalism, was an English philosopher and physician regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment thinkers. Considered one of the first of the British empiricists, following the tradition of Francis Bacon, he is equally important to social...

     (1632–1704)
  • Emerich de Vattel
    Emerich de Vattel
    Emer de Vattel was a Swiss philosopher, diplomat, and legal expert whose theories laid the foundation of modern international law and political philosophy. He was born in Couvet in Neuchatel, Switzerland in 1714 and died in 1767 of edema...

     (1714–1767)
  • Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant
    Immanuel Kant was a German philosopher from Königsberg , researching, lecturing and writing on philosophy and anthropology at the end of the 18th Century Enlightenment....

     (1724–1804)
  • John Stuart Mill
    John Stuart Mill
    John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

     (1806–1873)
  • Paul Tillich
    Paul Tillich
    Paul Johannes Tillich was a German-American theologian and Christian existentialist philosopher. Tillich was one of the most influential Protestant theologians of the 20th century...

     (1886–1965)

  • George Barry O'Toole (1886–1944)
  • Reinhold Niebuhr
    Reinhold Niebuhr
    Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr was an American theologian and commentator on public affairs. Starting as a leftist minister in the 1920s indebted to theological liberalism, he shifted to the new Neo-Orthodox theology in the 1930s, explaining how the sin of pride created evil in the world...

     (1892–1971)
  • H. Richard Niebuhr
    H. Richard Niebuhr
    Helmut Richard Niebuhr was one of the most important Christian theological-ethicists in 20th century America, most known for his 1951 book Christ and Culture and his posthumously published book The Responsible Self. The younger brother of theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, Richard Niebuhr taught for...

     (1894–1962)
  • Meher Baba
    Meher Baba
    Meher Baba , , born Merwan Sheriar Irani, was an Indian mystic and spiritual master who declared publicly in 1954 that he was the Avatar of the age....

     (1894–1969)
  • Paul Ramsey (1913–1988)
  • John Rawls
    John Rawls
    John Bordley Rawls was an American philosopher and a leading figure in moral and political philosophy. He held the James Bryant Conant University Professorship at Harvard University....

     (1921–2002)
  • Murray Rothbard
    Murray Rothbard
    Murray Newton Rothbard was an American author and economist of the Austrian School who helped define capitalist libertarianism and popularized a form of free-market anarchism he termed "anarcho-capitalism." Rothbard wrote over twenty books and is considered a centrally important figure in the...

     (1926–1995)
  • Michael Novak
    Michael Novak
    Michael Novak is an American Catholic philosopher, journalist, novelist, and diplomat. The author of more than twenty-five books on the philosophy and theology of culture, Novak is most widely known for his book The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism...

     (1933–)
  • Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at...

     (1935–)
  • Ron Paul
    Ron Paul
    Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

     (1935-)
  • Robert L. Holmes
    Robert L. Holmes
    Robert L. Holmes is a professor of philosophy at the University of Rochester, and an expert on issues of peace and nonviolence. Holmes specializes in ethics, and in social and political philosophy. He has written numerous articles and several books on those topics, and has been invited to address...

     (193?–)
  • Jean Bethke Elshtain
    Jean Bethke Elshtain
    -Biography:She is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago Divinity School, and is a contributing editor for The New Republic. She is, in addition, newly the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Chair in the Foundations of American Freedom at...

     (1941–)
  • Oliver O'Donovan
    Oliver O'Donovan
    Oliver O'Donovan FBA FRSE is a scholar in the field of Christian ethics. He has made contributions to political theology, both contemporary and historical.-Life:...

     (1945–)
  • Louis Iasiello
    Louis Iasiello
    Rear Admiral Louis V. Iasiello, USN is a retired American Navy officer who served as the 23rd Chief of Chaplains of the United States Navy from 2003 to 2006. He is a well known Just War theorist, and his PhD dissertation is entitled: Jus In Bello: Key Issues for a Contemporary Assessment of Just...

     (1950–)
  • George Weigel
    George Weigel
    George Weigel is an American author, and political and social activist. He currently serves as a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Weigel was the Founding President of the James Madison Foundation...

     (1951–)
  • Jeff McMahan
    Jeff McMahan (philosopher)
    Jeff McMahan is an American philosopher. McMahan took his first degree at the University of Oxford and his PhD at the University of Cambridge, and is currently professor of philosophy at Rutgers University. He has written extensively on normative and applied ethics...

     (1954–)
  • Brian Orend
    Brian Orend
    Brian Orend is the Director of International Studies and a professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario. He specializes in Ethics.Orend's works focus on just war theory and human rights...

     (1970–)


See also

  • Christianity and violence
    Christianity and violence
    The relationship of Christianity and violence is the subject of controversy because some of its core teachings advocate peace, love and compassion while other teachings have been used to justify the use of violence. Peace, compassion and forgiveness of wrongs done by others are key elements of...

  • Interventionism (politics)
    Interventionism (politics)
    Interventionism is a term for a policy of non-defensive activity undertaken by a nation-state, or other geo-political jurisdiction of a lesser or greater nature, to manipulate an economy or society...

  • Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC)
    Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project (RULAC)
    The Rule of Law in Armed Conflicts Project is an initiative of the to support the application and implementation of the international law of armed conflict.-Overview:...

  • Rule of law
    Rule of law
    The rule of law, sometimes called supremacy of law, is a legal maxim that says that governmental decisions should be made by applying known principles or laws with minimal discretion in their application...

  • Rule According to Higher Law
    Rule according to higher law
    The rule according to a higher law means that no written law may be enforced by the government unless it conforms with certain unwritten, universal principles of fairness, morality, and justice...

  • Roerich Pact
  • Civilian casualty ratio
    Civilian casualty ratio
    In armed conflicts, the civilian casualty ratio is the ratio of civilian casualties to combatant casualties, or total casualties...

  • Dharmayuddha
    Dharmayuddha
    Dharmayuddha is a Sanskrit word made up of two roots: dharma meaning righteousness, and yuddha meaning warfare. In the ancient Indian texts, dharmayuddha refers to a war that is fought while following several rules that make the war fair....

  • Al-jihad fi sabil Allah

Further reading

  • Benson, Richard. The Just War Theory: A Traditional Catholic Moral View, The Tidings (2006). Showing the Catholic view in three points, including John Paul II's position concerning war.
  • Blattberg, Charles. Taking War Seriously. A critique of just war theory.
  • Brough, Michael W., John W. Lango, Harry van der Linden, eds., Rethinking the Just War Tradition (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2007). Discusses the contemporary relevance of just war theory. Offers an annotated bibliography of current writings on just war theory.
  • Craig J. N. de Paulo, Augustinian Just War Theory and the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq: Confessions, Contentions and the Lust for Power (Peter Lang, 2001) The most current and comprehensive breakdown of Augustine's influence on just war theory and an analysis the controversy among contemporary Roman Catholic thinkers.
  • Dr Mark Evans, Just War Theory: A Reappraisal (Edinburgh University Press, 2005)
  • Fotion, Nicholas. War and Ethics (London, New York: Continuum, 2007). ISBN 0-8264-9260-6. A defence of an updated form of just war theory.
  • Heindel, Max
    Max Heindel
    Max Heindel - born Carl Louis von Grasshoff in Aarhus, Denmark on July 23, 1865 - was a Christian occultist, astrologer, and mystic. He died on January 6, 1919 at Oceanside, California, United States.- Early infancy :...

    . The Rosicrucian Philosophy in Questions and Answers - Volume II (The Philosophy of War, World War I reference, ed. 1918), ISBN 0-911274-90-1 (Describing a philosophy of war and just war concepts from a Rosicrucian
    Rosicrucian
    Rosicrucianism is a philosophical secret society, said to have been founded in late medieval Germany by Christian Rosenkreuz. It holds a doctrine or theology "built on esoteric truths of the ancient past", which, "concealed from the average man, provide insight into nature, the physical universe...

     point of view)
  • Khawaja, Irfan. Review of Larry May, War Crimes and Just War, in Democratiya
    Democratiya
    Democratiya was a free quarterly online review of books that aims "stimulate discussion of radical democratic political theory". Sixteen editions were produced from 2005 until a final edition in Autumn 2009....

    10, (http://www.democratiya.com/review.asp?reviews_id=124), an extended critique of just war theory.
  • MacDonald, David Roberts. Padre E. C. Crosse and 'the Devonshire Epitaph': The Astonishing Story of One Man at the Battle of the Somme (with Antecedents to Today's 'Just War' Dialogue), 2007 Cloverdale Books, South Bend. ISBN 978-1-929569-45-8
  • Nájera, Luna. "Myth and Prophecy in Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda’s Crusading "Exhortación," in Bulletin for Spanish and Portuguese Historical Studies, 35:1 (2011). Discusses Sepúlveda's theories of war in relation to the war against the Ottoman Turks.
  • O'Donovan, Oliver
    Oliver O'Donovan
    Oliver O'Donovan FBA FRSE is a scholar in the field of Christian ethics. He has made contributions to political theology, both contemporary and historical.-Life:...

    . The Just War Revisited (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003).
  • Ramsey, Paul. The Just War (New York: Scribners,1969).
  • Steinhoff, Uwe. On the Ethics of War and Terrorism (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2007). Covers the basics and some of the most controversial current debates.
  • Walzer, Michael
    Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at...

    . Just and Unjust Wars
    Just and Unjust Wars
    Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations is a 1977 book by Michael Walzer published by Basic Books and still in print, now as part of the Basic Books Classics Series.The book resulted from Walzer's reflections on the Vietnam War...

    : A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations
    , 4th ed., (New York: Basic Books, 1977). ISBN 0-465-03707-0.
  • Walzer, Michael
    Michael Walzer
    Michael Walzer is a prominent American political philosopher and public intellectual. A professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, he is co-editor of Dissent, an intellectual magazine that he has been affiliated with since his years as an undergraduate at...

    . Arguing about War, (London: Yale University Press, 2004). ISBN 978-0-300-10978-8.
  • v. Starck, Christian (Hrsg.): Kann es heute noch gerechte Kriege geben?, Wallstein-Verlag 2008

External links