Forcible alternatives to war : legitimate violence in 21st century international relations
Theoretical boundaries of armed conflict and human rights
New York : Cambridge University Press, 2016
In this chapter Janina Dill argues that war and its legal regulation are at odds with contemporary normative expectations of legitimate state conduct and effective international law. Since armed conflict and international law cannot easily be changed to meet those expectations, it is urgent to search for forcible alternatives to war. The first section defines war by identifying four constitutive features of international armed conflict. The second links one of those features - collectivity - to the challenge that international humanitarian law (IHL) faces in the regulation of conduct of war. It thereby explains why one of the oldest regimes of international law, the laws of war or IHL, no longer provides a source of political legitimacy sufficient to ward off reputational costs: the rise of individual rights in international relations. Another constitutive feature of war, formal symmetry, is linked in section three to the impossibility of making the protection of individual rights the touchstone for legitimate resort to force. The final section is a tentative exploration of ways to alter or mitigate the implications of these two features that make war an illegitimate means of solving conflict or inforcing international law.