In our obedience to jus post bellum, could respect for jus in bello require us to be machiavellian?
Marie-des-Neiges Ruffo de Calabre
Jus post bellum : restraint, stabilisation and peace
Leiden ; Boston : Brill Nijhoff, 2020
To mention Machiavelli in a reflection on both just war and "virtue" must appear as a historical contradiction. Yet it is precisely because Machiavelli might be presented as the very antithesis of both the theory of just war and the actions guided by moral virtue alone, that we can propose, by contrast, two positions. The first is a position in favour of the link between jus in bello and jus post bellum, and the second is the throwing light on the link between just war and virtue ethics. One method, perhaps, is to test the link by process of counter-intuition: so the question is can thinking counter-intuitively be an ethical means leading to ethical ends? Does respect of jus post bellum require we are already virtuous in adhering to the concept of jus in bello? Do we respect the just war theory only as far as aiming efforts towards the end of the hostilities, whatever the means used, as a sort of wish-fulfilment? In brief, can we wage a just war without virtue?