WAR AND SELF-DEFENSE

When is it right to go to war? The most persuasive answer to this question has always been 'in self-defense'. In a penetrating new analysis, bringing together moral philosophy, political science, and law, David Rodin argues that this answer is not all it seems. The simple analogy between self-defense and national-defense between the individual and the state—needs to be fundamentally rethought.

This book proposes a comprehensive new view of the right of self-defense which resolves many of the perplexing questions that have dogged both jurists and moral philosophers. By applying this theory to international relations, Rodin produces a far-reaching critique of the canonical Just War Theory.

Wars of national-defense cannot be justified reductively as 'collective self-defense'. Nor can they be explained in terms of a state-held right analogous to the right of personal self-defense. A line of argument that has dominated moral and legal thinking about war for over 1,500 years is shown to be bankrupt. This conclusion points the way to what must surely be one of the most significant challenges of the twenty-first century; the development of a new framework for the regulation of international violence, one which appropriately balances the rights and obligations of states, communities, and individuals.

-i-

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War and Self-Defense
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • War and Self-Defense iii
  • Foreword vii
  • Preface x
  • Contents xv
  • Introduction 1
  • Part I Self-Defense 15
  • 1: Rights 17
  • 2: A Model of Defensive Rights 35
  • 3: Consequences and Forced Choice 49
  • 4: Grounding Self-Defense in Rights 70
  • Part II National-Defense 101
  • 5: International Law 103
  • 6: War and Defense of Persons 122
  • 7: War and the Common Life 141
  • 8: War, Responsibility, and Law Enforcement 163
  • 9: Conclusion: Morality and Realism 189
  • Bibliography 200
  • Index 209
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