Self-Defense and War
Self-defense is widely accepted as the sole justification for war. In this course we will investigate moral and legal justifications for self-defense on both the individual and collective levels. We will consider questions such as: Why is self-defense justified between individuals? Can similar justifications be used to justify self-defense between states? Can appeals to self-defense be extended to modify international legal policies to include, for example, humanitarian intervention and/or preemptive strikes? In exploring these questions, we will read historical and contemporary authors such as Augustine, Grotius, Walzer, McMahan and Buchanan. Students will pursue independent research for a final project.