Ethics Beyond War's End

Eric Patterson, Editor

"This book is essential reading for scholars and decision makers concerned with contemporary warfare and recommended for general readers interested in the ethics of contemporary international relations."
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The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have focused new attention on a perennial problem: how to end wars well. What ethical considerations should guide war’s settlement and its aftermath? In cases of protracted conflicts, recurring war, failed or failing states, or genocide and war crimes, is there a framework for establishing an enduring peace that is pragmatic and moral?

Ethics Beyond War’s End provides answers to these questions from the just war tradition. Just war thinking engages the difficult decisions of going to war and how war is fought. But from this point forward just war theory must also take into account what happens after war ends, and the critical issues that follow: establishing an enduring order, employing political forms of justice, and cultivating collective forms of conciliation. Top thinkers in the field—including Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, James Turner Johnson, and Brian Orend—offer powerful contributions to our understanding of the vital issues associated with late- and post conflict in tough, real-world scenarios that range from the US Civil War to contemporary quagmires in Afghanistan, the Middle East, and the Congo.

Table of Contents


Eric Patterson

1. Moral Responsibility after Conflict: The Idea of Jus Post Bellum for the Twenty-First Century
James Turner Johnson

2. The Aftermath of War: Reflections on Jus Post Bellum
Michael Walzer

3. Jus Ante and Post Bellum: Completing the Circle, Breaking the Cycle
George R. Lucas Jr.

4. In My Beginning Is My End
Robert Royal

5. A More Perfect Peace: Jus Post Bellum and the Quest for Stable Peace
Robert E. Williams Jr.

6. Ethics in the Times of War
Pauletta Otis

7. Just War and an Ethics of Responsibility
Jean Bethke Elshtain

8. Ending the US Civil War Well: Reconciliation and Transitional Justice
David A. Crocker

9. Justice After War: Towards a New Geneva Convention
Brian Orend

10. “Just Peace:” An Elusive Ideal
Mark Evans

Conclusion: Toward a Twenty-First Century Jus Post Bellum
Eric Patterson




"This book is essential reading for scholars and decision makers concerned with contemporary warfare and recommended for general readers interested in the ethics of contemporary international relations."—Choice

"This volume fosters understanding of the political dimension of war and the associated requirement to ensure that political, military, diplomatic, economic and informational efforts aim to achieve an enduring and moral political settlement consistent with vital interests."—Survival

"Eric Patterson and the thoughtful contributors to Ethics Beyond War's End build on Just War thinking to effectively address emerging realities of conflict today—armed interventions not only war, intrastate not just interstate conflicts, and the roles and responsibilities of interveners and coalitions. This volume advances the body of conceptual and practical knowledge about what may be the most needed and promising dimension of military and political ethics in the immediate future: jus post bellum."—F. Eric Wester, US Army (Ret.), and former senior military fellow, National Defense University

"This book greatly enriches the field of literature dealing with the just war tradition by critically assessing the challenges and implications of extending its scope of analysis beyond war’s end. These timely essays by experts in just war thinking clearly reveal that moral reflection at the end of war is not only an ethical imperative, but a strategic and humanitarian one as well. Indeed, this is a must read for policy experts, military officials, politicians, and anyone interested in ways to secure a just peace in the aftermath of violent conflict."—Robert van Der Waag, professorial lecturer, Georgetown University

"This excellent book places just war theory, sometimes reduced to a passing reference in secular politics, at the center of debate on viable jus post bellum situations, where conflict often refuses to go away. Tackling contemporary dimensions of conflict and war, Ethics Beyond War's End is among the most outstanding contributions to just war theory available."—Charles Villa-Vicencio, senior research fellow, Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in Cape Town, South Africa, and visiting professor, Conflict Resolution Program, Georgetown University

"If Christians, nations, and others are going to continue to view armed intervention as sometimes justified, in addition to the traditional criteria to be met before embarking upon (jus ad bellum) and to be followed during the conduct of (jus in bello) such forceful actions, similar attention should be given to justice in the wake of war (jus post bellum). Ethics Beyond War's End, with contributions from leading voices on the ethics of war and peace today, will surely help to fill this significant lacuna."—Tobias Winright, Saint Louis University, and coauthor of After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice


David A. Crocker Jean Bethke Elshtain Mark Evans James Turner Johnson George R. Lucas Jr. Brian Orend Pauletta Otis Eric Patterson Robert Royal Robert E. Williams Jr. Michael Walzer

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Eric Patterson is Dean of the School of Government at Regent Univeristy. He is the author of Ending Wars Well: Order, Justice and Conciliation in Contemporary Post-Conflict and Politics in a Religious World.

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