Just War against an “Outlaw” Region

Mehdi Mozaffari

in A Matter of Principle

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780520244863
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932166 | DOI:
Just War against an “Outlaw” Region

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This chapter focuses on reasonable liberal peoples' policies toward outlaw states and the specification of the conditions and justifications for launching war against them. Its aim is to apply perspectives from John Rawls' The Law of Peoples, to the understanding of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussein and to the democratization of the greater Middle East. What is novel in the approach is that Rawls' perspectives are applied to the larger problem of “outlaw regions.” The goal of liberal states is self-defense not simply against a lone outlaw state such as Iraq but against the entire region of the Middle East, which is characterized by “oriental despotisms” representing a regional threat to world peace and stability. Rawls requires that “when a liberal society engages in war in self-defense, it does so to protect and preserve the basic freedom of its citizens and its constitutionally democratic political institutions”.

Keywords: outlaw states; war; John Rawls; Saddam Hussein; democratization; liberal states; self-defense; oriental despotisms; democratic political institutions

Chapter.  7526 words. 

Subjects: Social Movements and Social Change

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