Justice in Asymmetric Wars: A contractarian analysis

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Abstract

This Article aims to extend contractarianism in just war theory to the case of asymmetric war of independence. Its main thesis is that within asymmetric wars, the traditional rule of noncombatant immunity has no contractarian justification: It systematically discriminates against the weak part to the conflict, and thus it is unfair. On the other hand, a rule that allows those who take themselves to be freedom fighters to threaten civic life, yet prohibits deliberately targeting individuals, is fair and mutually beneficial. The branch of the war convention I called justice in asymmetric war instructs militants to treat civilians as if they bear no personal responsibility for the evil that their society causes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-200
Number of pages29
JournalLaw and Ethics of Human Rights
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2012

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