Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Military Ethics 7 (1):41-65 (2008)
|Abstract||Recent years have seen a revival of interest in Michael Walzer's doctrine of ?supreme emergency?. Simply put, the doctrine holds that, when a state confronts an opponent who threatens annihilation, it can be morally legitimate to violate one of the cardinal rules of the war convention ? the principle of non-combatant immunity. Walzer cites the case of Britain's decision to bomb German cities in 1940 as a case in point. Although the theory of supreme emergency has been scrutinised, the historical case that Walzer refers to has not been looked at in depth. This article seeks to remedy this problem by asking whether the principle actors involved in the decision to bomb German cities understood themselves to be in a supreme emergency. It argues that the British leadership never openly admitted that they were in fact targeting German civilians, and that the principle reason for this was a widespread belief that the British and American publics would not support such a campaign. As a result, throughout the war, the British government publicly maintained the fiction that the devastation of German cities was a collateral product of attacks on its industrial infrastructure. This, in turn, suggests that liberal societies ? even those facing imminent destruction ? do not tend to support a relaxing of the rules of non-combatant immunity, suggesting that the prohibition on deliberately killing non-combatants may be more embedded than has hitherto been thought|
|Keywords||160607 International Relations 9403 International Relations C1 Supreme emergency non-combatant immunity World War II RAF strategic bombing|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Yitzhak Benbaji (2010). Dehumanization, Lesser Evil and the Supreme Emergency Exemption. Diametros 23:5-21.
Ezio Di Nucci (2013). Double Effect and Terror Bombing. In T. Spitzley, M. Hoeltje & W. Spohn (eds.), GAP.8 Proceedings. GAP.
Christopher Toner (2005). Just War and the Supreme Emergency Exemption. Philosophical Quarterly 55 (221):545 - 561.
Stephen E. Lammers (1983). Area Bombing in World War II: The Argument of Michael Walzer. Journal of Religious Ethics 11 (1):96 - 113.
Anne Schwenkenbecher (2009). Terrorism, Supreme Emergency and Killing the Innocent. Perspectives - The Review of International Affairs 17 (1):105-126.
P. Roberts (2012). The Supreme Emergency Exemption: Rawls and the Use of Force. European Journal of Political Theory 11 (2):155-171.
David K. Chan (2013). Just War, Noncombatant Immunity, and the Concept of Supreme Emergency. Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):273 - 286.
Daniel Statman (2013). Supreme Emergencies and the Continuum Problem. Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4):287 - 298.
Shawn Kaplan (2011). Unraveling Emergency Justifications and Excuses for Terrorism. Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (2):219-238.
Samir Kumar Das & Rada Iveković (eds.) (2010). Terror, Terrorism, States, and Societies: A Historical and Philosophical Perspective. Women Unlimited.
Igor Primoratz (2011). Civilian Immunity, Supreme Emergency, and Moral Disaster. Journal of Ethics 15 (4):371-386.
C. A. J. Coady (2004). Terrorism, Morality, and Supreme Emergency. Ethics 114 (4):772-789.
Martin L. Cook (2007). Michael Walzer's Concept of 'Supreme Emergency'. Journal of Military Ethics 6 (2):138-151.
Nigel De Lee (2005). Moral Ambiguities in the Bombing of Monte Cassino. Journal of Military Ethics 4 (2):129-138.
Added to index2010-08-24
Total downloads19 ( #71,246 of 739,315 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #61,243 of 739,315 )
How can I increase my downloads?