The crime of aggression : a critical historical inquiry of the just war tradition
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Why has international society been unable to develop political and judicial collective-security arrangements to limit external aggression? The thesis argues that efforts to limit aggression in moral and legal theory have created an unjust order in which great powers have used these theoretical traditions to reinforce their power in the global order. The thesis argues that is not a new development but can be found in one of the oldest traditions of moral reflection on war, the just war tradition. To substantiate this point, the thesis critically surveys the philosophers of the ancient Greek, Roman, Medieval Christian Renaissance, and early modern theorists of just war and demonstrates that their just war ideas contain assumptions about exclusion, identity and power reflecting their cultural superiority which underlie the practices and theories of the leading states and justifications of their aggressive wars. The thesis connects these moral reflections to the emergence of modern international law and the European pluralist international society of states based on mutual respect for sovereignty and the norm of non-intervention, highlighting how justifications of its colonial aggression against non-Europeans established an unjust solidarist order against them which persists in the post-Cold War era. To conclude it presents suggestions for improvement in the current pluralist international arrangements to address the issue of aggression.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2022-06-26
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 26th June 2022.
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