In Humanity's Name: Democracy and the Right to Wage War

Mark Evans

in Just War Theory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print June 2005 | ISBN: 9780748620746
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748672042 | DOI:
In Humanity's Name: Democracy and the Right to Wage War

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The insistence that a just war can only be waged by a “legitimate authority” is generally accepted as central to just-war argument and the traditional construal of this tenet has been conspicuously state-centric. The realities of war in the modern world have increasingly made the interpretation and application of this stipulation complex and controversial. In sketching some of these difficulties, this chapter broaches some ways of refining our understanding of it by proposing a linkage between just war theory and the concept of a “global civil society” which not only ideally lends a cosmopolitan angle to the idea of authority but also contends that there is a democratic bias within that idea when it is properly understood. The role of the United Nations in the 1999 Kosovo intervention and the 2003 Iraq war is discussed to indicate how, in this respect, just war theory in the modern world ideally requires reform in the global order for its proper application.

Keywords: Authority; Democracy; Global civil society; United Nations; Global order; Kosovo; Iraq war

Chapter.  7818 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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