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Just war in the age of terror

Keywords: terrorism , international order , war , international law , security

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Abstract:

International terrorism and the “war on terror” have led to the advent of a climate of extreme conflict in the international sphere. Humanitarian law and war conventions, the author claims, have been made obsolete as a result of which the need for security is imposedon legality, at the same time as a generalised militaristic discourse which accentuates the “moral polarity” of the two parties in conflict. This article analyses terrorism and the war against samethrough one single framework of ethical reflection (the theory of “just war”), with the aim of outlining impartial definitions, assessing them in terms of justice and proposing global (thoughnot exclusively military) strategies against terrorism. Furthermore, the article warns of the risk of the erosion of democracy that is brought about by prioritising security over freedom and human rights –as the “war on terror” has clearly demonstrated. Finally, by considering terrorism as a problem of distribution of political resources, the study ends with a reflection on the international order and the conflicts that result from same.

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