The Ethics of War

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Manchester University Press, Sep 15, 1997 - Philosophy - 314 pages
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Drawing on examples from the history of warfare from the crusades to the present day, "The ethics of war" explores the limits and possibilities of the moral regulation of war. While resisting the commonly held view that 'war is hell', A.J. Coates focuses on the tensions which exist between war and morality. The argument is conducted from a just war standpoint, though the moral ambiguity and mixed record of that tradition is acknowledge and the dangers which an exaggerated view of the justice or moral worth of war poses are underlined. In the first part, the broad image of the just war is compared with the competing images of realism, militarism and pacifism. In the second part, the moral issues associated both with the decision to go to war and with the manner in which war is conducted are explored. Was the allied decision to go to war in the Gulf premature? were economic sanctions a more effective and morally preferable option? was Britain justified in going to war over the Falklands? did the allied bombing of Germany in the Second World War constitute a war crime? should the IRA's claim to belligerent status be recognised? these questions and more are raised in this important book.
 

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Contents

Acknowledgements page
1
Images of
7
Realism
17
Militarism
40
Pacifism
77
The just war
97
Legitimate authority
123
Just cause
146
Proportionality and the recourse to war
167
Last resort
189
Proportionality and the conduct of war
209
Noncombatant immunity
234
Peacemaking
273
Bibliography of works cited
295
Index
305
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About the author (1997)


A.J. Coates is Lecturer in Politics at the University of Reading

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