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Just War TheoryA Reappraisal$
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Mark Evans

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748620746

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620746.001.0001

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Moral Theory and the Idea of a Just War

Moral Theory and the Idea of a Just War

Moral Theory and the Idea of a Just War
Just War Theory

Mark Evans

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter provides an historical overview of the just war tradition and how it has evolved over time, contending that its remarkable longevity should perhaps not be forgotten in any reassessment of its importance and plausibility. It then proceeds to identify some key features and issues in just war theory as a moral theory, in particular what it means to present it as “non-ideal”. It identifies some examples of its misuse which have mistakenly been cited as reasons to reject it. The chapter concludes with a statement of one contemporary version of the theory, with introductory discussion of its elements (in particular the argument for a theory of jus post bellum to supplement the traditional accounts of jus ad bellum and jus in bello) to preface the more detailed analyses to come.

Keywords:   Just war tradition, Moral theory, Non-ideal theory, Jus ad bellum, Jus in bello, Jus post bellum

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