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date: 25 April 2017

Abstract and Keywords

The vast majority of work on the ethics of war focuses on traditional wars between states. This chapter aims to show that this is an oversight worth rectifying. The strategy is largely comparative, assessing whether certain claims often defended in discussions of interstate wars stand up in the context of civil conflicts and whether there are principled moral differences between the two types of case. Firstly, the chapter argues that thinking about intrastate wars may help us make progress on important theoretical debates in recent just war theory. Secondly, it considers whether certain kinds of civil wars are subject to a more demanding standard of just cause, compared to interstate wars of national defence. Finally, it assesses the extent to which having popular support is an independent requirement of permissible war and whether this renders insurgencies harder to justify than wars fought by functioning states.

Keywords: civil war, revolution, insurgencies, Cecile Fabre, intrastate conflict, consent

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