Just and unjust warriors : the moral and legal status of soldiers
[ed. by] David Rodin and Henry Shue
Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2008
IX, 261 p. ; 24 cm
Can a soldier be held responsible for fighting in a war that is illegal or unjust? This is the question at the heart of a new debate that has the potential to profoundly change our understanding of the moral and legal status of warriors, wars, and indeed of moral agency itself. The debate pits a widely shared and legally entrenched assumption about war--that combatants have equal rights and equal responsibilities irrespective of whether they are fighting in a war that just or unjust--against a set of striking new arguments. These arguments challenge the idea that there is a separation between the rules governing the justice of going to war (the jus ad bellum) and the rules governing what combatants can do in war (the jus in bello). If ad bellum and in bello rules are connected in the way these new arguments suggest, then many aspects of just war theory and laws of war will have to be rethought and perhaps reformed.