Ideas of collective responsibility challenge the doctrine of individual responsibility that is the dominant paradigm in law and liberal political theory. But little attention is given to the consequences of holding groups accountable for wrongdoing. Groups are not amenable to punishment in the way that individuals are. Can they be punished - and if so, how - or are other remedies available? The topic crosses the borders of law, philosophy and political science, and in this volume specialists in all three areas contribute their perspectives. They examine the limits of individual criminal liability in addressing atrocity, the meanings of punishment and responsibility, the distribution of group punishment to a group's members, and the means by which collective accountability can be expressed. In doing so, they reflect on the legacy of the Nuremberg Trials, on the philosophical understanding of collective responsibility, and on the place of collective accountability in international political relations.
Tracy Isaacs is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Women's Studies and Feminist Research (which she also chairs) at the University of Western Ontario. She is co-editor, with Samantha Brennan and Michael Milde, of New Canadian Perspectives in Ethics and Value Theory, and has published articles in a number of philosophical journals including Ethics, Criminal Justice Ethics and The American Philosophical Quarterly. She has a forthcoming monograph titled Moral Responsibility in Collective Contexts. Richard Vernon is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Western Ontario. His publications include The Career of Toleration (winner of the C. B. Macpherson Prize in 1998), Political Morality: A Theory of Liberal Democracy (2001), Friends, Citizens, Strangers: Essays on Where We Belong (2005) and Cosmopolitan Regard: Political Membership and Global Justice (2010). His current work-in-progress includes a monograph on historical redress.
Introduction Tracy Isaacs; Part I. Collective Accountability in International Law: 1. Collective responsibility and post-conflict justice Mark A. Drumbl; 2. State criminality and the ambition of international criminal law David Luban; 3. Punishing genocide: a critical reading of the International Court of Justice Anthony F. Lang, Jr; 4. Joint criminal enterprise, the Nuremberg precedent, and the concept of 'Grotian moment' Michael P. Scharf; 5. Collective responsibility and transnational corporate conduct Sara L. Seck; 6. Collective punishment and mass confinement Larry May; Part II. Distributing Accountability: 7. Reparative justice Erin I. Kelly; 8. The distributive effect of collective punishment Avia Pasternak; 9. Citizen responsibility and the reactive attitudes: blaming Americans for war crimes in Iraq Amy Sepinwall; 10. Kicking bodies and damning souls: the danger of harming 'innocent' individuals while punishing 'delinquent' states Toni Erskine; 11. Punishing collectives: states or nations? Richard Vernon.