RSSSpecial Section: Legitimate Authority

Introduction: Legitimate Authority, War, and the Ethics of Rebellion

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The three articles in this special section all investigate the idea that considerations of “legitimate authority” have a key role in constituting the modern idea of war and in determining the normative status of those who participate in it.

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Legitimate Authority and the Ethics of War: A Map of the Terrain

| June 9, 2017
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In this article, Jonathan Parry challenges both the traditional conception of the legitimate authority criterion as well as those reductivists who reject it wholesale. Specifically, he offers a qualified defense of the authority requirement on reductivists’ own terms.






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Does Who Matter? Legal Authority and the Use of Military Violence

| June 9, 2017
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In this article, Pål Wrange demonstrates that in international law there is no consistent, over-arching conception of proper authority. Instead, he concludes, there exists authority to do different things for different purposes, allocated to a variety of actors who base their authority on a multitude of characteristics.






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The Perspective of the Rebel: A Gap in the Global Normative Architecture

| June 9, 2017
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In this article, Christopher Finlay writes that the failure to take account of what he calls the “Rebel Perspective” constitutes a source of instability within the global normative architecture governing the use of force. Because this architecture is nevertheless valuable, he proposes some suggestions for strengthening it by incorporating the Rebel Perspective.






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