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date: 19 June 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Contemporary jus ad bellum theories are too restricted in the range of issues they explore. They typically fail to ascertain the best directly action-guiding norms leaders should follow in deciding to go to war (these may differ from elements of objective justifications), morally evaluate institutional procedures by which leaders make the decision to go to war, determine the proper division of labour between institutional procedures and directly action-guiding norms for recourse to war decisions, morally evaluate the recourse to war decisions leaders make, provide an account of the virtues of leaders relevant to their decisions to go to war, evaluate leaders’ public acts of justification for going to war, evaluate social practices regarding what counts as a legitimate type of justification for going to war, and evaluate domestic and international law regarding recourse to war. Merely determining what makes recourse to war acts right does not answer these questions.

Keywords: jus ad bellum, social practice of justification, directly action-guiding principles, institutions, recourse to war

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