Chapter

Just Cause (Including Subcriteria) and Right Intention

Uwe Steinhoff

in On the Ethics of War and Terrorism

Published in print May 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217373
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191712470 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217373.003.0003
 Just Cause (Including Subcriteria) and Right Intention

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This chapter shows that the jus ad bellum criterion of just cause includes others, apart from right intention, as underlying facets: the legitimacy of the cause cannot be clarified independently of these other criteria. The criterion of right intention is interpreted in a significantly more tolerant way than it traditionally has been. Liberalism is not concerned with purity of heart but with respect for people's rights. Therefore, it cannot exclude going to war for selfish (for example, imperialist or sadistic) reasons, at least not as long as this is coupled with the intention of not exploiting the war more than the pursuit of the just cause, by just means, would allow.

Keywords: jus ad bellum; last resort; proportionality; prospects of success

Chapter.  4098 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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