Chapter

Civil wars

Cécile Fabre

in Cosmopolitan War

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199567164
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191746055 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199567164.003.0005
Civil wars

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Chapter 4 turns to instances where individuals' rights are violated by victims' own regime — in other words, to civil wars. The chapter shows that civil wars—which, incidentally, are consistently overlooked in the philosophical literature — bear scrutinizing at the bar cosmopolitan justice. It argues that if a given rights violation constitutes a just cause for an interstate war, then it also constitutes a just cause for a civil war — though whether the war is interstate or intrastate can have a bearing on the degree to which the war meets other requirements for a just war. The chapter then revisits a thesis which it began defending in Chapter 3, to the effect that individuals in their private capacity may hold the right to wage war. Here it argues, more incisively, that it is not a necessary condition for all wars to be just that they be waged by state-actors — which thus opens the door (contra some important strands within the tradition) for the view that a civil war can be just on the side of the insurgents. The chapter closes with some comments on agents' liability to being killed in civil wars.

Keywords: civil wars; just cause; legitimate authority; government by consent; non-combatant immunity

Chapter.  18815 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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