Collective self-defence

Cécile Fabre

in Cosmopolitan War

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199567164
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746055 | DOI:
Collective self-defence

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Chapter 2 offers an account of wars of collective self-defence against an unwarranted military aggression—the paradigmatic case of a just war, and yet the kind of war, precisely, which might seem to pose insuperable problems for cosmopolitanism, since it pits sovereign political communities against one another. The chapter delineates a normative account of defensive killings in private contexts and applies it to the case of collective self-defence. It argues that whether combatants have the right to kill enemy combatants (largely) depends on the moral status of the cause for which they fight. The defence of the territorial integrity and political self-determination of one's political community against unwarranted aggression is a just cause because of the importance to individuals of those collective goods. The chapter then examines tensions between, on the one hand, the cosmopolitan claim that membership in a given political community is irrelevant to the conferral and infringement of rights, and on the other hand, the collateral killing of enemy non-combatants. In the course of doing so it highlights some important revisions to the principle of proportionality.

Keywords: collective self-defence; defensive killing; collateral killing; just cause; proportionality

Chapter.  24135 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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