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Chapters 3 and 4 focus on the conditions for the just initiation of war jus ad bellum and the difficult cases of humanitarian intervention, preventive war, and wars of punishment. Chapters 5 to 7 provide a rich and challenging discussion of the other main branch of just war thinking, con- cerned with the justice of conduct in war jus in bello.
The concluding chapters consider more contemporary issues for just war theory. Chapters 8 and 9 provide a systematic and level-headed discussion of terrorism, both in terms of its definition and moral status. The permissibility of torturing terrorists is also considered.
The final chapter, appropriately, discusses the ethical problems surrounding the termi- nation and aftermath of war. Rather than provide a detailed overview of each chapter I will instead simply note that they are uniformly excellent and should be required reading on any uni- versity course on the subject and indeed for anyone with an interest in thinking clearly and deeply about war and violence. The reason for this brevity is that I want to draw attention to the overarching merit of The Ethics of War and Peace, which lies is its combination of clarity and sympathetic presentation with a healthy dose of audacity and provocation.
This motivation underpins the central contribution of the book, which is to illustrate the ways in which the orthodox view within just war theory, as influentially defended by Michael Walzer, has been powerfully challenged in recent scholar- ship. A major theme running throughout The Ethics of War and Peace is that even the most common ideas about war, such as that it is possible for soldiers to fight justly even in an unjust war, or that civilians are never legitimate targets in war, or that terrorism and torture are never permissible, are surprisingly difficult to square with our moral beliefs about killing and harming in circumstances other than war and that this should give us cause for concern.
Throughout this work Frowe poses the deep and enduring questions of how the relationship between war and peace is to be conceived and to what the extent moral reflection on the latter can illumi- nate the former. As Frowe explains, the question of how the apparent inconsisten- cies between these two spheres are to be understood and resolved is one of the most interesting and pressing issues in contemporary just war theory, with deep implications for our actual practices concerning life and death in war.
This book should leave the reader feeling both informed and challenged. Whilst primarily offering a thorough introduction for the newcomer, The Ethics of War and Peace also provides stimulation for those who are more well-versed in just war theory, as Frowe often criticises and refines the views she sets out and offers some novel responses to several well-known objections.
As Frowe explains, individualists take the view that the moral principles governing war are wholly derivable from reflection on the moral principles govern- ing the use of force between individuals, primarily through considerations of per- missible self-defence. Rodin argues that the justice of war cannot be reduced to the principles governing individual self-defence because these principles are actu- ally far more restrictive than any plausible account of permissible defensive war could allow.
Applying this constraint to war, argues Rodin, would require that nations appease rather than confront aggression whenever doing so will avoid bloodshed. Since most of us find this implausible, we ought to reject individualism. Frowe points out that retreat is only required in self-defence cases when the costs of doing so are not great. When retreat involves substantial costs, a potential victim is not required to bear them in order to avoid defensively harming their attacker. Given these huge political and economic burdens, argues Frowe, a nation is not required to appease aggression.
The self-defence requirement of retreat does not translate into the requirement of appeasement when applied to war. This is a good response, indicative of the precision of the work as a whole. But I am not sure that this fully meets the objection.
Whilst it is cer- tainly true that the nation will suffer serious harm through appeasement, it is less clear that any individuals would necessarily suffer harms of sufficient seriousness to justify defensive killing. It is particularly unclear in the example employed by Frowe, in which one liberal democracy annexes a portion of the territory of another, whether appeasing this aggression would impose any obvious welfare costs on individuals which would exceed that which they would be required to bear in order to avoid large-scale killing and maiming.
Jonathan Parry University of Sheffield j. Related Papers.
The Just War Framework.