Ethics & International Affairs Volume 22.2 (Summer 2008): Feature (Peer-Reviewed): Just War Theory and the Privatization of Military Force [Abstract]

Jul 7, 2008

The use of private military companies (PMCs) has become increasingly prevalent, with such firms as Blackwater, MPRI, and DynCorp taking over a growing number of roles traditionally performed by the regular military. This article uses the framework of just war theory (JWT) to consider the central normative issues raised by this privatization of military force.

In particular, I first examine the claim that private contractors are inappropriate actors to wage war because they contravene the JWT principle of right intention.

The next section asserts that the use of PMCs is largely consistent with the application of the principle of legitimate authority but undermines two of its central rationales.

In the third section, I apply the jus in bello principle of discrimination to PMC personnel. Overall, I argue that JWT needs to be updated and extended to respond to the issues raised by the privatization of military force.

To read or purchase the full text of this article, click here.

You may also like

MAR 15, 2022 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 36.1 (Spring 2022)

The highlight of this issue is a roundtable organized by Jesse Kirkpatrick on moral injury, trauma, and war, featuring contributions by Jesse Kirkpatrick, Daniel Rothenberg, ...

JAN 4, 2022 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 35.4 (Winter 2021)

The issue features a book symposium organized by Michael Blake on Anna Stilz's "Territorial Sovereignty," with contributions from Adom Getachew; Christopher Heath Wellman; and Michael ...

JUL 9, 2020 Journal

Ethics & International Affairs Volume 34.2 (Summer 2020)

The highlight of the Summer 2020 issue of "Ethics & International Affairs" is a roundtable organized by Daniel R. Brunstetter on limited strikes and the associated ethical, ...