5 International Law

The first part of our project is now complete. We have developed a working explanatory model of defensive rights. Our task now is to attempt to apply this model to the purported right of national-defense. Our question shall be: to what extent can national-defense be seen as a valid instance of the broader class of defensive rights which we have charted in Part I , and in particular what is its relation to the right of self-defense? 1 Before we can do this, however, we need an understanding of the content of the supposed right of national self-defense which we will hope to scrutinize. What does it encompass? How is it conceived? What is the scope of its limitations and permissions? 2

In answering these questions, it is very important that we do not simply construct a straw-man to subsequently demolish. Any account of national self-defense, even an ultimately sceptical and destructive one such as I shall pursue, must explain why the notion has seemed so morally credible for so long and to so many people—including many great and distinguished thinkers. If we suspect a sickness in our thinking about war and peace, our procedure must be in part diagnostic as well as remedial.

The claim that there is a right of national-defense receives its principal articulation and defense in the western tradition within the Just War Theory. But the Just War Theory is, in reality, many theories. It is more accurate to talk of the 'just war tradition' rather than the 'Just War Theory', for it includes a large number of diverse yet related positions stretching from the theological writings of Augustine and Aquinas, via the legal treatises of Grotius and his contemporaries, to the modern secular account found in writers

-103-

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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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