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Course Details

Course Number: 90-764

Just War in the 21st Century

Units: 6

What is “Just War,” how has it been defined, and how can it be usefully defined in the 21st century? Conflicts in the early 21st century will not be, for the most part, between standing armies. Rather, they will be with irregulars who combine virulent technologies and techniques, and who blend in with the civilian population. Furthermore, governments in many of the areas in which these irregular fighters operate will not have well-formed and capable police forces and judiciaries able to identify, detain and prosecute these fighters under criminal law. This will pose a situation not adequately anticipated by classical just war theory or law.

This class will examine just war theory and the law of land warfare, and within this context identify some of the moral and legal challenges posed by irregular warfare, and the policy challenges this creates for modern states.

Terrence Kelly