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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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Just War? Just Children?

Just War? Just Children?

Chapter:
(p.114) Chapter 5 Just War? Just Children?
Source:
Just War Theory
Author(s):

Helen Brocklehurst

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748620746.003.0006

Jus in bello's category of “discrimination” critically depends upon an ability to draw morally meaningful distinctions between those who are rightly liable to die in war (which includes the just as well as unjust combatants) and the “innocent” : those whose deaths should be minimised as far as possible. It is a staple of debate about the theory that this distinction is difficult to draw, but this chapter argues that the extent of this difficulty continues in fact to be underestimated by neglecting the peculiarities and problems of “the child” as a moral and political subject in war. Through numerous examples and suggestive analyses, not least some which problematise the very concept of “childhood”, the chapter proposes that some fundamental categories of just war theory may be significantly disrupted once we think clearly about the role and status of children (for example, child soldiers) in contemporary warfare.

Keywords:   Discrimination, Just combatants, Childhood, Innocence, Child Soldiers

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