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Reading: Morally Liable States: A Critique of Jeff McMahan’s Theory of Moral Liability in War

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Morally Liable States: A Critique of Jeff McMahan’s Theory of Moral Liability in War

Author:

Matthew Clark

London School of Economics and Political Science; University College London, GB
About Matthew
MSc Philosophy of the Social Sciences student (2014-2015). He also holds a degree in European Social and Political Studies. His interests cover social ontology, political philosophy (particularly liberalism and democratic reasoning) and religion, and he hopes to continue research in the future.
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Abstract

This essay attempts to reconsider current debates around just war theory. It takes as its starting point Jeff McMahan’s ideas about just war: that the moral liability of individuals should be taken into account during war time. By reconsidering the special nature of war as conflict between states continuity is established between jus ad bellum and jus in bello. Moral liability is then shown to actually lie with the state itself, making those who ex officio constitute it liable targets for a defending nation.

How to Cite: Clark, M., 2015. Morally Liable States: A Critique of Jeff McMahan’s Theory of Moral Liability in War. Rerum Causae, 7(2), pp.143–151.
Published on 01 Jul 2015.
Peer Reviewed

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