As we approach our second century, the Carnegie Council will remain the home for energetic, rigorous, and creative thinking on the ethics of war. In these pages, we rededicate ourselves to the proposition that the “just war” tradition is an inheritance that requires and rewards constant engagement.
BY CIAN O’DRISCOLL What does it mean to think ethically about the use of force? This beguilingly simple question is difficult to address.
The increasingly widespread and energetic engagement with the idea of just war over the last fifty years of thinking on morality and armed conflict—especially in English-speaking countries—presents a striking contrast to the previous several centuries, going back to the early 1600s, in which thinkers addressing moral issues related to war did so without reference to the just war idea.
Have the critics of the historical approach to just war theory landed it a knock-out blow, or can it withstand the bricks and bats that have been hurled its way? This article will elucidate four of the most hard-hitting charges levied at the historical approach, and evaluate its continuing utility in light of them.
Given the niche occupied by just war thinking in contemporary policy discourse, it is worth asking several basic questions about the just war vocabulary. What purposes does it (or can it) serve? What is the nature of its authority? How does or ought just war thinking proceed? Or, to put it another way, how does one recognize “good” just war thinking?
Just war scholars often do not differentiate between force and war, but rather talk about bellum justum as if all uses of force implied the same moral challenges. The tendency is therefore to evaluate forces short of war through the lens of jus ad bellum. We question whether this assumption is warranted.
This article sets out a conceptual framework for normative theorizing about fairness in international negotiations, with a particular emphasis on the role of feasibility considerations. We argue that a fair and feasible agreement will require reforming the current dichotomy between developed and developing countries’ commitments, coupled with a more principled approach to differentiating the level of national mitigation efforts.
This article argues that most well-known approaches to climate justice have two important weaknesses, in that they fail to take advantage of two crucial developments: one, the identification of social and political misrecognition as the key underlying condition of the maldistribution of goods and risks; and two, the influential capabilities approach, which focuses on the specific range of basic needs and capabilities that human beings require to function.