Just Wars: From Cicero to Iraq
November 2006, Polity
The Just War tradition provides a set of criteria which
political leaders and soldiers use to defend and rationalize war.
This book explores the evolution of thinking about just wars and
examines its role in shaping contemporary judgements about the use
of force, from grand strategic issues of whether states have a
right to pre-emptive
self-defence, to the minutiae of targeting.
Bellamy maps the evolution of the Just War tradition, demonstrating how it arose from a myriad of sub-traditions, including scholasticism, the holy war tradition, chivalry, natural law, positive law, Erasmus and Kant's reformism, and realism from Machiavelli to Morgenthau. He then applies this tradition to a range of contemporary normative dilemmas related to terrorism, pre-emption, aerial bombardment and humanitarian intervention.
PART I: MAPPING THE JUST WAR TRADITION.
Chapter 1: Antiquity -.
Chapter 2: The Middle Ages –.
Chapter 3: Renaissance and Reformation –.
Chapter 4: From Holy War to Enlightenment –.
Chapter 5: Modernity and Beyond –.
PART II: CONTEMPORARY ISSUES.
Chapter 6: The Just War Tradition Today –.
Chapter 7: Terrorism –.
Chapter 8: Pre-emption –.
Chapter 9: Aerial Bombing –.
Chapter 10: Humanitarian Intervention –.
- Comprehensive introduction to a key topic in security and
- Provides a detailed historical analysis of the just war
tradition, from antiquity through the middle ages and the
renaissance to the ‘war on terror'
- Shows how Just War theory relates to contemporary problems of
humanitarian intervention, terrorism and self-defence
- Detailed discussion of the work of thinkers from Machiavelli to
Morgenthau, and from Kant to Walzer
- Clearly and engagingly written, ideal for a student audience
"A model of careful and balanced discussion ... Bellamy strikes
just the right balance between rigorous examination of general
concepts and consideration of the concrete aspects of particular
Henry Shue, Survival
“A convincing analysis of the emergence of international
law and the dominance of realism after the Second World War [and]
an excellent application of this theoretical and historical
narrative to contemporary issues.”
Political Studies Review
"This is an engaging book that captures the breadth and depth of arguments over why and how we should kill one another."
"A book to admire and to argue with – in other words, the
best sort of book."
Jean Bethke Elshtain, University of Chicago