SA04: Presidential Theme Panel - What is Geopolitics?
- Chair: Daniel H. Deudney (Johns Hopkins University)
- Participant: Harvey Starr (University of South Carolina)
- Participant: John Mearsheimer (University of Chicago)
- Participant: Stefano Guzzini (Danish Institute for International Studies, Uppsala University & PUC-Rio de Janeiro)
- Participant: Vicki Squire (The University of Warwick)
- Participant: Colin Wight (University of Sydney)
- Participant: Ronald J. Deibert (University of Toronto)
- Participant: Jairus V. Grove (University of Hawaii at Manoa)
SD60: War - What is it Good For?
- Author: Jens Bartelson (Lund University)
Abstract and Keywords
War is ostensibly to be avoided because it involves killing. But, over time a complex set of frameworks that establish the basis of ‘just war’ has been produced. These doctrines putatively constrain what counts as appropriate justifications for engaging in warfare (jus ad bellum) and, if war breaks out, what is considered permissible conduct (jus in bello). The tenor of these developments suggests an opposition to war – or, that it is only acceptable in special circumstances. This panel reconsiders this approach, exploring how the same principles that attempt to constrain violence also provide it with moral legitimation. It asks and addresses two questions: 1) How has war become an indispensable ethical component of political life?, and, as a consequence, 2) How do practices of lethality become legitimate in world politics? Reconsidering how and why war has been facilitated, justified through the normative valuation of killing, this panel recasts just war doctrines, laying out how they regulate when and why war is morally appropriate. Focused on how legitimate wars are distinguished from illegitimate ones and the ethical implications of war-related practices and tools, this panel contributes new thinking about how and why war is given a permanent warrant in international practice.