Just War Theory and Cyber-Attacks

In Fritz Alhoff, Nicholas Evans & Adam Henschke (eds.), Not Just Wars. Routledge (2013)
In this chapter, I take up the question of whether one of the central principles of jus ad bellum – just cause – is relevant in a world in which cyberattacks occur. I argue that this principle is just as relevant as ever, though it needs modification in light of recent developments. In particular, I argue, contrary to many traditional just war theorists, that just cause should not be limited to physical attacks. In the process, I offer an improved definition of cyberattack and show how some other principles of jus ad bellum constrain this widened notion of just cause.
Keywords Normative ethics  Applied ethics  just war theory
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