The Ethics of War and Peace Revisited

Moral Challenges in an Era of Contested and Fragmented Sovereignty

Daniel R. Brunstetter and Jean-Vincent Holeindre, Editors

"an engaging introduction to the difficult, slippery concept of “sovereignty” over recent decades. "
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How do we frame decisions to use or abstain from military force? Who should do the killing? Do we need new paradigms to guide the use of force? And what does “victory” mean in contemporary conflict? 

In many ways, these are timeless questions. But they should be revisited in light of changing circumstances in the twenty-first century. The post–Cold War, post-9/11 world is one of contested and fragmented sovereignty: contested because the norm of territorial integrity has shed some of its absolute nature, fragmented because some states do not control all of their territory and cannot defeat violent groups operating within their borders. Humanitarian intervention, preventive war, and just war are all framing mechanisms aimed at convincing domestic and international audiences to go to war—or not, as well as to decide who is justified in legally and ethically killing. The international group of scholars assembled in this book critically examine these frameworks to ask if they are flawed, and if so, how they can be improved. Finally, the volume contemplates what all the killing and dying is for if victory ultimately proves elusive.

Table of Contents


Introduction: The Ethics of War and Peace in a World of Contested and Fragmented Sovereignty
Daniel R. Brunstetter and Jean-Vincent Holeindre

Part I. What Frames Decisions to Intervene?
1. Assessing (and Learning from) the Record of Humanitarian Intervention in the Post–Cold War Era
Aidan Hehir

2. Recognition Theory in Humanitarian Intervention
Thomas Lindemann and Alex Giacomelli

3. The Moral Justification for Military Intervention
Nigel Biggar

4. Making the World Safe for Preventive Force: India, South Korea, and the US Precedent
Kerstin Fisk and Jennifer M. Ramos

5. France and the American Drone Precedent: A Consequentialist Response to a Polemical Critique
Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer

Part II. Who Should do the Fighting- And Who, Consequently, Bears The Risk of Dying?

6. Pragmatism, the Just War Tradition, and an Ethical Approach to Private Military and Security Companies
Deborah Avant

7. A Certain Idea of Grandeur: French Military Interventionism and Postcolonial Responsibility
Jean-Vincent Holeindre

8. The Signs of the Times: Classical Just War Thinking and Timing, and the Struggle Against Jihadists
John Kelsay

9. Balancing Security, Risk, and Uncertainty in a World of Contested and Fragmented Sovereignty
John R. Emery

Part III. Do We Need New Ethical Frameworks?

10. Drones, Honor, and Fragmented Sovereignty: The Impact of New and Emerging Technology on the Warrior’s Code
Shannon E. French, Victoria Sisk, and Caroline Bass

11. The Purview of State-Sponsored Violence: Law Enforcement, Just War, and the Ethics of Limited Force
Daniel R. Brunstetter

12. Contesting Sovereignty: Human Security as a New Justification for War?
Frédéric Ramel

Part IV. Is Victory Really Enough?
13. Jus Post Bellum, Fractured Sovereignty, and the Limits of Postwar Rehabilitation
Brian Orend

14. After Disneyland: The (Hollow) Victory of Just War
Cian O’Driscoll

Conclusion: Toward the Future of the Ethics of War and Peace
Daniel R. Brunstetter and Jean-Vincent Holeindre

List of Contributors


"A valuable addition to any course or study on the ethics of war as a complement to or extension of classical works in the field. The collection nicely balances analysis with concrete examples and situations, a virtue of many of its individual chapters as well as its overall organization."—Reading Religion

"an engaging introduction to the difficult, slippery concept of “sovereignty” over recent decades."—

"The post-Cold War era has seen considerable change in armed conflict. This collection of essays looks beyond the symptoms—new weapons, new combatants, and new doctrines—to the underlying changes in the norms and practices of sovereignty. It is essential reading for those working on the ethical issues surrounding contemporary armed conflict."—Amy Eckert, Metropolitan State University of Denver

"How do we talk, think, and act upon a world where sovereignty is fragmented and contested? With sophisticated chapters written in tangible and accessible styles, reflecting a welcome diversity of theoretical approaches, this ambitious volume productively reconfigures and then abandons old debates over Just War, and then pushes us into entirely new conceptual and ethical directions. This book provides not only guidance, but hope, by recharting the field of international ethics in an era where both justice and war have been emptied of their meanings. Brunstetter, Holeindre and their contributors show us the way forward, and we would do well to follow their lead."—Brent Steele, International Relations, Professor, The University of Utah


Deborah Avant Caroline Bass Nigel Biggar Daniel R. Brunstetter John R. Emery Kerstin Fisk Shannon E. French Alex Giacomelli Aidan Hehir Jean-Vincent Holeindre John Kelsay Thomas Lindemann Cian O'Driscoll Brian Orend Frédéric Ramel Jennifer M. Ramos Victoria Sisk Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Daniel R. Brunstetter is associate professor of political science at the University of California–Irvine and author of Tensions of Modernity: Las Casas and His Legacy in the French Enlightenment. 

Jean-Vincent Holeindre is professor of political science at University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas and Scientific Director of Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l'Ecole Militaire (IRSEM). He is the author of La ruse et la force: Une autre histoire de la stratégie.

344 pp., 6 x 9
2 figures
ISBN: 978-1-62616-506-9
Jan 2018

344 pp., 6 x 9
2 figures
ISBN: 978-1-62616-507-6
Jan 2018

344 pp.
2 figures
ISBN: 978-1-62616-508-3
Jan 2018

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