The Sword of Justice: Ethics and Coercion in International Politics (Washington Papers; 176)

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9780275960926: The Sword of Justice: Ethics and Coercion in International Politics (Washington Papers; 176)

Through an examination of the relationship between ethics and international coercion, The Sword of Justice compares the actual practice of the United States to the standards established by the just war framework. Historical cases are considered―from nuclear deterrence, conventional war and humanitarian intervention to covert action, economic sanctions and coercive diplomacy―analyzed from the perspective of the just war tradition to provide practical tools to improve the moral content of policy decisions.

An enduring feature of the international system is the use or threat of force. The most systematic critique of this practice is found in the just war tradition, begun by Augustine and further elaborated by Aquinas. This book explores the relationship between ethics and international coercion by presenting historical case studies in which the United States has taken such measures to achieve their goals, and by comparing the actual practice of the United States to the standards established by the just war framework. Based on the comparison, a number of concrete recommendations are made about specific measures that could strengthen the moral content of policy decisions, and at the same time meet tests of political feasibility in the American system of government.

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Book Description:

An insight into the ethics of international coercion from a perspective of the just war tradition.

About the Author:

JAMES A. BARRY is Visiting Associate Professor at George Mason University, where he teaches courses in International Politics, American Foreign Policy, and Ethics and International Affairs./e Mr. Barry spent more than 30 years in government service. He was Deputy Chief of the Arms Control Intelligence Staff and Director of the Center for the Study of Intelligence, the CIA's think tank for critical assessments of the profession of intelligence.

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