Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers

Just and Unjust Warriors: The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers

By: Henry Shue (editor), David Rodin (editor)Paperback

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Can a soldier be held responsible for fighting in a war that is illegal or unjust? This is the question at the heart of a new debate that has the potential to profoundly change our understanding of the moral and legal status of warriors, wars, and indeed of moral agency itself. The debate pits a widely shared and legally entrenched principle of war-that combatants have equal rights and equal responsibilities irrespective of whether they are fi ghting in a war that is just or unjust-against a set of striking new arguments. These arguments challenge the idea that there is a separation between the rules governing the justice of going to war (the jus ad bellum) and the rules governing what combatants can do in war (the jus in bello). If ad bellum and in bello rules are connected in the way these new arguments suggest, then many aspects of just war theory and laws of war would have to be rethought and perhaps reformed. This book contains eleven original and closely argued essays by leading figures in the ethics and laws of war and provides an authoritative treatment of this important new debate. The essays both challenge and defend many deeply held convictions: about the liability of soldiers for crimes of aggression, about the nature and justifi ability of terrorism, about the relationship between law and morality, the relationship between soldiers and states, and the relationship between the ethics of war and the ethics of ordinary life. This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

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About Author

Henry Shue is Senior Research Fellow Emeritus at Merton College, Oxford; from 2002-2007 he was Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. Best known for Basic Rights (Princeton, 1980; 2nd Ed., 1996), he has written a number of highly influential articles including "Torture" (1978), "Exporting Hazards" (1981), "Mediating Duties" (1988), "Subsistence Emissions and Luxury Emissions" (1993), "War" (2003), and "Limiting Sovereignty" (2004). He continues to write on the ethical aspects of climate change and war, with a book called Limiting War currently in progress.


1. Introduction ; 2. The Morality of War and the Law of War ; 3. The Moral Inequality of Soldiers: Why Jus in Bello Asymmetry is Half Right ; 4. Fearful Symmetry ; 5. Do We Need a "Morality of War"? ; 6. How to Judge Soldiers Whose Cause in Unjust ; 7. Moral equality, victimhood and the sovereignty symmetry problem ; 8. The Status of Combatants ; 9. Is the Independent Application of Jus in Bello the way to Limit War? ; 10. Just War and Regular War: Competing Paradigms ; 11. A Presumption of the Moral Equality of Combatants: a Citizen Soldier' Perspective ; 12. The Principle of Equal Application of the Laws of War

Product Details

  • publication date: 19/08/2010
  • ISBN13: 9780199593231
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 272
  • ID: 9780199593231
  • weight: 418
  • ISBN10: 019959323X

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