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date: 22 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article explores the connection between terrorism and the ethics of war, specifically the relevance of the moral wrongfulness of terrorism in elucidating one important aspect of the ethics of war. It begins with an overview of terrorism’s central features and the ethical issues associated with terrorism. It then discusses two considerations. First, terrorism can occur within civil society as well as in contexts of armed combat or war. Second, terrorist tactics are answerable to principles that govern ethically acceptable conduct of war, not the other way around. The chapter also tackles the question of whether the jus in bello principle of discrimination that prohibits targeting innocent people ought to represent an absolute prohibition, as opposed to a very stringent constraint. It argues that an analysis of the structure of terrorism and its distinctive wrongfulness can be helpful in morally interpreting the jus in bello principle of discrimination.

Keywords: terrorism, ethics of war, moral wrongfulness, civil society, war, jus in bello, discrimination

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