Article | De Ethica. A Journal of Philosophical, Theological and Applied Ethics | In Defence of Just War: Christian Tradition, Controversies, and Cases
De Ethica
A Journal of
Philosophical,
Theological and
Applied Ethics

Title:
In Defence of Just War: Christian Tradition, Controversies, and Cases
Author:
Nigel Biggar: Oxford University, UK
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.15215
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Abstract:
This article presents four controversial issues that are raised by the articulation of just war thinking in my book, In Defence of War (2013, 2014): the conception of just war as punitive, the penultimate nature of the authority of international law, the morality of national interest, and the elasticity of the requirement of proportionality. It then proceeds to illustrate the interpretation of some of the criteria of just war in terms of three topical cases: Britain’s belligerency against Germany in 1914, the Syrian rebellion against the Assad regime in 2011, and Israe’s Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in Gaza in 2013. It is often claimed that just war thinking has been rendered obsolete by novel phenomena such as nuclear weapons, wars ‘among the people’, war-by-remote-control, and cyber-aggression. The presentation of issues and cases in this article, notwithstanding its brevity, is sufficient to show that just war thinking continues to develop by wrestling with controversial conceptual problems and thinking its way through novel sets of circumstances.
Keywords:
Just War; International Law; National Interest; Proportionality; Preventative War; Punishment; Rebellion
Year:
2015
Volume:
2
Issue:
1
Pages:
5-17
No. of pages:
13
Publication type:
Article
Published:
2015-05-05

Volume 2, Issue: 1, Article 3, 2015

Author:
Nigel Biggar
Title:
In Defence of Just War: Christian Tradition, Controversies, and Cases:
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.15215
References:

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Biggar, Nigel. In Defence of War. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672615.001.0001

Biggar, Nigel. ‘Christian “Just War” Reasoning and Two Cases of Rebellion: Ireland, 1916-21, and Syria, 2011-present’, Ethics and International Affairs, 27:4 (2013), pp. 393-400. doi: 10.1017/S089267941300035X

Biggar, Nigel and Linda Hogan (Eds). Religious Voices in Public Places. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. doi: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199566624.001.0001

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Stevenson, David. 1914-1918: The History of the First World War. London: Penguin, 2004.

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‘Syria Chemical Weapons Allegations’ (2013), online at www.bbc.co.uk/news/worldmiddle-east-22557347 (accessed 2015-04-13).

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Yves R. Simon, The Ethiopian Campaign and French Political Thought, edited Anthony O. Simon (translated by Robert Royal). Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame, 2009.


Volume 2, Issue: 1, Article 3, 2015

Author:
Nigel Biggar
Title:
In Defence of Just War: Christian Tradition, Controversies, and Cases:
DOI:
10.3384/de-ethica.2001-8819.15215
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