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Title: Can War Be a Moral Action?
Subtitle: Towards a Normative Theory of Humanitarian Intervention
Author(s): SCHMÜCKER, R.
Journal: Ethical Perspectives
Volume: 11    Issue: 2-3   Date: 2004   
Pages: 162-175
DOI: 10.2143/EP.11.2.504945

Abstract :
In this paper a standard that can enable us to judge the alleged legitimacy of an interventional war is proposed. The paper consists of three parts. In the first part, it is shown that the opinion that waging a war is illegitimate in every case cannot be reconciled with the legitimacy of individual and collective self-defence, which is widely accepted in all civilizations. For this reason the second part specifies, in accordance with traditional just-war theory, six conditions of a justified war and substantiates the view that assistance in an emergency is the only reason that can, under certain circumstances, morally justify a war of aggression. In the third part the term ‘humanitarian intervention’ is defined by stating special legitimacy conditions that must be satisfied to make a war of aggression a humanitarian intervention and by rejecting an influential objection against the legitimacy of such an interventional war.

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