Based on an innovative theory of international law, Janina Dill's book investigates the effectiveness of international humanitarian law (IHL) in regulating the conduct of warfare. Through a comprehensive examination of the IHL defining a legitimate target of attack, Dill reveals a controversy among legal and military professionals about the 'logic' according to which belligerents ought to balance humanitarian and military imperatives: the logics of sufficiency or efficiency. Law prescribes the former, but increased recourse to international law in US air warfare has led to targeting in accordance with the logic of efficiency. The logic of sufficiency is morally less problematic, yet neither logic satisfies contemporary expectations of effective IHL or legitimate warfare. Those expectations demand that hostilities follow a logic of liability, which proves impracticable. This book proposes changes to international law, but concludes that according to widely shared normative beliefs, on the twenty-first-century battlefield there are no truly legitimate targets.
Janina Dill is a lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford.
Introduction; Part I. A Constructivist Theory of International Law: 1. The challenge; 2. The theory; Part II. The Definition of a Legitimate Target of Attack in International Law: 3. Positive law; 4. Customary law; Part III. An Empirical Study of International Law in War: 5. The rise of international law in US air warfare; 6. The changing logic of US air warfare; 7. The behavioural relevance of international law in US air warfare; Part IV. An Evaluation of International Law in War: 8. The lack of normative success of international law in US air warfare; 9. The impossibility of normative success for international law in war; Conclusion.