Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 33 items for :

  • "just war tradition" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
Abstract only
Second edition
Author: A. J. Coates

Though the just war tradition has an ancient pedigree, like any tradition of thought, it is subject to historical highs and lows. Drawing on examples from the history of warfare from the Crusades to the present day, this book explores the limits and possibilities of the moral regulation of war. It focuses on the tensions which exist between war and morality. The moral ambiguity and mixed record of that tradition is acknowledged and the dangers which an exaggerated view of the justice or moral worth of war poses are underlined. The adoption of a 'dispositional' view of ethical life, in which moral character and moral culture play a decisive part, widens and transforms the ethics of war. Realism resists the application of morality to war. Pacifism harms and benefits the just war tradition in about equal measure. In opposition to the amoral and wholly pragmatic approach of the 'pure' realist, the just war theorist insists on the moral determination of war where that is possible, and on the moral renunciation of war where it is not. Moral realism is what the just war tradition purports to be about. Legitimate authority has become entirely subordinated to the concept of state sovereignty. If moderate forms of consequentialism threaten the principle of noncombatant immunity, more extreme or purer forms clearly undermine it. The strategic and the ethical problems of counterterrorism are compounded by the emergence of a new and more extreme form of terrorism.

Abstract only
How Britain lives with the Bomb
Author: Andrew Corbett

An ex-Trident submarine captain considers the evolution of UK nuclear deterrence policy and the implications of a previously unacknowledged, enduring aversion to military strategies that threaten civilian casualties. This book draws on extensive archival research to provide a uniquely concise synthesis of factors affecting British nuclear policy decision-making, and draws parallels between government debates about reprisals for First World War Zeppelin raids on London, the strategic bombing raids of the Second World War and the development of the nuclear deterrent to continuous at-sea deterrence, through the end of the Cold War and the announcement of the Dreadnought programme. It develops the idea that, in a supreme emergency, a breach of otherwise inviolable moral rules might be excused, but never justified, in order to prevent a greater moral catastrophe; and it explores the related ethical concept of dirty hands – when a moral actor faces a choice between two inevitable actions, mutually exclusive but both reprehensible. It concludes that, amongst all the technical factors, government aversion to be seen to condone civilian casualties has inhibited government engagement with the public on deterrence strategy since 1915 and, uniquely among nuclear weapon states, successive British governments have been coy about discussing nuclear deterrence policy publicly because they feared to expose the complexity of the moral reasoning behind the policy, a reticence exacerbated by the tendency of policy and media investigation to be reduced to simplistic soundbites.

Abstract only
A. J. Coates

blanket moral condemnation of war and of all things military, affirming the potential moral instrumentality of war and the virtues of an imperfect and often precarious peace. These are fundamental and important differences; yet it would be mistaken to see the various comparisons in purely negative terms, since what they reveal is affinity, and in some cases even indebtedness, as well as opposition. In the contrasts and the affinities that exist between it and each of the contrasting approaches to war the just war tradition’s own distinctive image of war is more clearly

in The ethics of war
A. J. Coates

9 Proportionality and the conduct of war In the just war tradition the specific requirements of just conduct are those of proportionality and noncombatant immunity. The criterion of proportionality, first encountered in respect of just recourse, resurfaces in relation to just conduct. Here the issue is not the justification of the war as a whole and in prospect, but the justification of the specific ways in which it is prosecuted. What is involved here is the proportionality of means rather than ends. Economy or restraint is the basic imperative, and combatants

in The ethics of war
A. J. Coates

-­century experience, often seems irresistible.2 Nevertheless that assumption will be resisted here, even while the dangers of exaggerating the moral potential of war are underlined. The moral regulation or limitation of war, it will be argued, is possible, though it depends in great part upon keeping the moral impulse itself in check. Though the book examines alternative conceptions of war, its central focus is on the just war tradition of thought.3 This may seem an arbitrary narrowing of its subject-­matter. The ethics of war is not after all exhausted by any single tradition. The

in The ethics of war
Abstract only
A. J. Coates

3 Pacifism Pacifism harms and benefits the just war tradition in about equal measure. Its blanket condemnation of all things military (in some cases more presumed than real) disrupts the kind of moral regulation of war to which just war theorists aspire: war is considered to be beyond the reach of morality. At the same time it assists the just war project by its general insistence on the subordination of war to peace and by its creative and constructive understanding of peace and peacemaking. In fact pacifists and just war theorists share similar aspirations

in The ethics of war
Abstract only
A. J. Coates

11 Peacemaking ‘Make war breed peace; make peace stint war.’1 The just war tradition upholds the primacy of peace over war. War has no intrinsic or independent value. Its moral worth is of a wholly instrumental kind and is conditional upon the subordination of war to peace. War is acceptable only as a form of peacemaking. Fundamentally, it is not the ius ad bellum that a just war vindicates, but the ius ad pacem. Peace is the goal and the measure of the just war from beginning to end. It is war’s essential moral context. The primacy of peace is evident in the

in The ethics of war

, lapse into the first person since there is no definitive metric against which to ‘measure’ ethics. This chapter will conclude with two brief case studies of alternative models of government engagement with the public which were not related to nuclear issues, but which addressed ethical issues that are demanding in their own right. The just war tradition – the traditional approach There may be dark days ahead, and war can no longer be confined to the battlefield, but we can only do the right as we see

in Supreme emergency
A. J. Coates

, according to which legitimate authority was a matter of fundamental concern. For St Augustine (1872) it was the key to the whole process of peacemaking. ‘The natural order,’ he wrote in Contra Faustum, ‘which seeks the peace of mankind, ordains that the monarch should have the power of undertaking war if he thinks it advisable’ (XXII.75).3 In the interests of peace the just war tradition sought to limit the recourse to Legitimate authority141 war and to curb the easy resort to violence. One way of doing this was by upholding the ‘public’ character of war and by outlawing

in The ethics of war
Open Access (free)
Anthony Coates

In the ‘New World Order’ the moral rehabilitation of war gathers pace. This development might be expected to meet with the enthusiastic approval of just war theorists. After all, rescuing war from the clutches of realists, pacifists and assorted moral sceptics has been the primary aim of the just war tradition throughout its long history. The idea of the moral determination of war, once so hotly contested, now seems

in Political concepts