Just War Theory and the Problem of International Politics

Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics 26 (1):163-175 (2006)
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IN THIS ESSAY WE ARGUE FOR A RECONFIGURATION OF JUST WAR THEORY around the principle of just intention. A just intention—based just war theory can overcome problems inherent in two alternative "ideal-typical" accounts of just war theory. The "internationalist" account argues for the promotion of justice, by analogy to its pursuit in domestic politics. The "realist" account, on the other hand, favors the particular manifestations of justice within states. Taken together, these two accounts complement each other and emphasize genuine goods. The possibility of taken them together, however, arises only out of consideration of just war theory as a peacemaking activity, ordered to the end, or intention, of this political act. If just war theory is not so understood, there is no possibility of drawing together these two complementary accounts.



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J. E. Capizzi
The Catholic University of America

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