Proportionality and responsibility

  • Michael Walzer Professor Emeritus, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey
Keywords: proportionality, responsibility, asymmetric warfare, just war theory

Abstract

This article examines two versions of the proportionality constraint in just war theory, one minimalist, prohibiting almost no military acts, and one maximalist, prohibiting pretty much everything. I argue that neither one meets the needs of the theory and that they should be supplemented and modified by an ethic of responsibility.

References

Halbertal, Moshe (2009), “The Goldstone Illusion”, The New Republic, 6 November.
Horne, Alistair (2006), A Savage War of Peace: Algeria 1951-1962. New York: NYRB Classics.
Kasher, Asa (2009), “Operation Cast Lead and the Ethics of Just War”, Azure 37: 43–75.
Kasher, Asa and Amos Yadlin (2006), “Military Ethics and Fighting Terror: Principles”, Philosophia 34: 75–84.
—. (2005), “Assassination and Preventive Killing”, SAIS Review 25(1): 41–57.
Margalit, Avishai and Michael Walzer (2009), “Israel: Civilians and Combatants”, The New York Review of Books, 14 May.
Walzer, Michael (2009), “Responsibility and Proportionality in State and Non-State Wars”, Parameters 39(1): 40 –52
—. (1977), Just and Unjust Wars. New York: Basic Books.
Woodward, Paul A. (2001), The Doctrine of Double Effect. Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press.
Zohar, Noam (2014), “Risking and Protecting Lives: Soldiers and Opposing Civilians”, in Frowe, Helen and Gerald Lang (eds.), How We Fight: Ethics in War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 155–171.
Published
2020-10-01