How Terrorism Is Wrong

Morality and Political Violence

How Terrorism Is Wrong

What is terrorism? How is it different from other kinds of political violence? Why exactly is it wrong? Why is war often thought capable of being justified? On what grounds should we judge when the use of violence is morally acceptable? It is often thought that using violence to uphold and enforce the rule of law can be justified, that violence used in self-defense is acceptable, and that some liberation movements can be excused for using violence--but that terrorism is always wrong. How persuasive are these arguments, and on what bases should we judge them? How Terrorism is Wrong collects articles by Virginia Held along with much new material. It offers a moral assessment of various forms of political violence, with terrorism the focus of much of the discussion. Here and throughout, Held examines possible causes discussed, including the connection between terrorism and humiliation. Held also considers military intervention, conventional war, intervention to protect human rights, violence to prevent political change, and the status and requirements of international law. She looks at the cases of Rwanda, Kosovo, Iraq, and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. Finally, she explores questions of who has legitimate authority to engage in justifiable uses of violence, whether groups can be responsible for ethnic violence, and how the media should cover terrorism. Held discusses appropriate ways of engaging in moral evaluation and improving our moral recommendations concerning the uses of violence. Just war theory has been developed for violence between the military forces of conflicting states, but much contemporary political violence is not of this kind. Held considers the guidance offered by such traditional moral theories as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism, and also examines what the newer approach of the ethics of care can contribute to our evaluations of violence. Care is obviously antithetical to violence since violence destroys what care takes pains to build; but the ethics of care recognizes that violence is not likely to disappear from human affairs, and can offer realistic understandings of how best to reduce it.

Barrington Moore

Violence, Morality and Political Change

Barrington Moore


The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi: Civilization, politics, and religion

The Moral and Political Writings of Mahatma Gandhi: Civilization, politics, and religion

The first in a series of three, this volume brings together the seminal writings of Mahatma Gandhi in an accessible form. Gandhi's books were few and inconclusive, but throughout his life he wrote innumerable articles and kept an enormous correspondence. The Collected Works of Gandhi run to ninety volumes. The editor of this series has selscted the most important of Gandhi's writings on morality, politics, religion, non-violent resistance, and a host of other topics, all of which illuminate the life and thought of the great man.

Moral Repair

Reconstructing Moral Relations after Wrongdoing

Moral Repair

Moral Repair examines the ethics and moral psychology of responses to wrongdoing. Explaining the emotional bonds and normative expectations that keep human beings responsive to moral standards and responsible to each other, Margaret Urban Walker uses realistic examples of both personal betrayal and political violence to analyze how moral bonds are damaged by serious wrongs and what must be done to repair the damage. Focusing on victims of wrong, their right to validation, and their sense of justice, Walker presents a unified and detailed philosophical account of hope, trust, resentment, forgiveness, and making amends - the emotions and practices that sustain moral relations. Moral Repair joins a multidisciplinary literature concerned with transitional and restorative justice, reparations, and restoring individual dignity and mutual trust in the wake of serious wrongs.

Democracy and Revolutionary Politics

Democracy and Revolutionary Politics

Democracy and political violence can hardly be considered conceptual siblings, at least at first sight. Democracy allows people to route their aspirations, demands, and expectations of the state through peaceful methods; violence works outside these prescribed and institutionalized channels in public spaces, in the streets, in the forests and in inhospitable terrains. But can committed democrats afford to ignore the fact that violence has become a routine way of doing politics in countries such as India? By exploring the concept of political violence from the perspective of critical political theory, Neera Chandhoke investigates its nature, justification and contradictions. She uses the case study of Maoist revolutionaries in India to globalize and relocate the debate alongside questions of social injustice, exploitation, oppression and imperfect democracies. As such, this is an important and much-needed contribution to the dialogue surrounding revolutionary violence.

Fidel's Ethics of Violence

The Moral Dimension of the Political Thought of Fidel Castro

Fidel's Ethics of Violence

Fidel Castro's most original contribution to revolutionary and radical thought has been his development of an explicit ethical position on one of the most controversial issues of our time: vioelnce. This book explores the evolution of Castro's political thinking-and in particular how he philosophically reconciles violence,political power and morality. The author argues that Castro's doctrine of armed struggle is the logical development of his idea of the ethical liberation fighter. At its core is the unremitting emphasis on the ethical use of violence and the occupation of the moral high ground.

The Constitution of the Criminal Law

The Constitution of the Criminal Law

The third book in the Criminalization series examines the constitutionalization of criminal law. It considers how the criminal law is constituted through the political processes of the state; how the agents of the criminal law can be answerable to it themselves; and finally, how the criminal law can be constituted as part of the international order. Addressing the ways in which and the grounds on which types of conduct can be justifiably criminalized, the first four chapters of this volume focus on the questions that arise from a consideration of the political constitution of the criminal law. The contributors then turn their attention to the role of the state, its institutions and officials, and their role not only as creators, enactors, interpreters, and enforcers of the criminal law, but also as subjects of it. How can the agents of the criminal law also be answerable to it? Finally discussion turns to how the criminal law can be constituted as part of an international order. Examining the relationships between domestic laws of different nation-states, and between domestic criminal law and international or transnational law, the chapters also look at the authority and jurisdiction of international criminal law itself, and its relationship to other dimensions of the international order. A vital examination of one of the most important topics in modern criminal legal theory, this volume raises new questions central to the study of the criminal law and offers new suggestions for addressing them.

Just and Unjust Warriors

The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers

Just and Unjust Warriors

Can a soldier be held responsible for fighting in a war that is illegal or unjust? This is the question at the heart of a new debate that has the potential to profoundly change our understanding of the moral and legal status of warriors, wars, and indeed of moral agency itself. The debate pits a widely shared and legally entrenched principle of war - that combatants have equal rights and equal responsibilities irrespective of whether they are fighting in a war that just or unjust - against a set of striking new arguments. These arguments challenge the idea that there is a separation between the rules governing the justice of going to war (the jus ad bellum) and the rules governing what combatants can do in war (the jus in bello). If ad bellum and in bello rules are connected in the way these new arguments suggest, then many aspects of just war theory and laws of war would have to be rethought and perhaps reformed. This book contains eleven original and closely argued essays by leading figures in the ethics and laws of war and provides an authoritative treatment of this important new debate. The essays both challenge and defend many deeply held convictions: about the liability of soldiers for crimes of aggression, about the nature and justifiability of terrorism, about the relationship between law and morality, the relationship between soldiers and states, and the relationship between the ethics of war and the ethics of ordinary life. This book is a project of the Oxford Leverhulme Programme on the Changing Character of War.

Gramsci, Political Economy, and International Relations Theory

Modern Princes and Naked Emperors

Gramsci, Political Economy, and International Relations Theory

This book seeks to provide the most comprehensive and sustained engagement and critique of neo-Gramscian analyses available in the literature. In examining neo-Gramscian analyses in IR/IPE, the book engages with two fundamental concerns in international relations: (i) The question of historicity and (ii) The analysis of radical transformation.