Synopses & Reviews
Just War Thinking: Morality and Pragmatism in the Struggle Against Contemporary Threats reconsiders the intersection between morality and pragmatism in foreign policy and modern warfare. Whereas recent explications of Just War theory neglect how twenty-first century wars differ from the old wars that Just War doctrine was originally designed for, this book argues that a political ethic of responsibility should motivate the contemporary application of military force by states in order to protect international security and human life. Just War Thinking criticizes the quasi-pacifism of most formal Just War scholarship, reconceptualizes a minimal, realistic just war thinking framework for exploring foreign and military policy options, and evaluates the usefulness of this approach by investigating contemporary cases such as the war on terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, the call for assassination of political leaders, and military humanitarian intervention. Finally, the book considers new challenges to pragmatic yet moral policies: the neglect of jus post bellum (justice at war's end); the challenge of public opinion, democratic processes, and supranational institutions to policies based on just war thinking; and the erosive power of postmodernism to the normative structures guiding Western decision-makers.
Just War Thinking reconsiders the intersection between morality and pragmatics in foreign policy and modern warfare. The book argues that a political ethic of responsibility should motivate the contemporary application of military force by states in order to protect international security and human life, considering the challenges posed by today's new wars: targeted killing, humanitarian intervention, terrorism, jus post bellum, and the influences of public opinion and supranational institutions.