Morality and War: Can War be Just in the Twenty-first Century?

Paperback | October 15, 2012

byDavid Fisher

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With the ending of the strategic certainties of the Cold War, the need for moral clarity over when, where and how to start, conduct and conclude war has never been greater. There has been a recent revival of interest in the just war tradition. But can a medieval theory help us answertwenty-first century security concerns? David Fisher explores how just war thinking can and should be developed to provide such guidance. His in-depth study examines philosophical challenges to just war thinking, including those posed by moral scepticism and relativism. It explores the nature and grounds of moral reasoning; the relationbetween public and private morality; and how just war teaching needs to be refashioned to provide practical guidance not just to politicians and generals but to ordinary service people. The complexity and difficulty of moral decision-making requires a new ethical approach - here characterised as virtuous consequentialism - that recognises the importance of both the internal quality and external effects of agency; and of the moral principles and virtues needed to enact them. Havingreinforced the key tenets of just war thinking, Fisher uses these to address contemporary security issues, including the changing nature of war, military pre-emption and torture, the morality of the Iraq war, and humanitarian intervention. He concludes that the just war tradition provides not only arobust but an indispensable guide to resolve the security challenges of the twenty-first century.

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With the ending of the strategic certainties of the Cold War, the need for moral clarity over when, where and how to start, conduct and conclude war has never been greater. There has been a recent revival of interest in the just war tradition. But can a medieval theory help us answertwenty-first century security concerns? David Fisher ...

David Fisher is a Visiting Senior Fellow at Kings College, London where he has recently completed a PhD in War Studies. He has served in senior positions in the Ministry of Defence, Foreign Office and Cabinet Office, including defence adviser to the Prime Minister in the Cabinet Office and the UK Defence Counsellor to NATO. He is co-C...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:October 15, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199661057

ISBN - 13:9780199661053

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Table of Contents

IntroductionPart I: Morality1. War Without Morality2. Whose Justice? Which Rationality?3. Virtues and Consequences4. The Just War Tradition5. Is Non-combatant Immunity Absolute?6. Virtues7. Virtuous consequentialismPart II: War8. The Protean Nature of War9. Extreme Times, Extreme Measures10. Gulf Wars11. Humanitarian Intervention12. Making War Just

Editorial Reviews

"a strikingly succesful book; lucid, accessible and provocative. It is among the best works I have read on the ethics of the use of armed force." --International Affairs 30/03/2012