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Defending Humanity – When Force is Justified and Why - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Defending Humanity: When Force is Justified and Why

George Fletcher and Jens Ohlin


This book tackles one of the most important and controversial questions of our time: When is war justified? When a nation is attacked, few would deny that it has the right to respond with force, but what about pre-emptive and preventive wars, or crossing another state's border to stop genocide? Was Israel justified in initiating the Six Day War, and was NATO's intervention in Kosovo legal? What about the U.S. invasion of Iraq? The book offer a theory on the legality of war with guidelines for evaluating these interventions. The book argue that much of the confusion on the subject stems from a ... More

Keywords: legality of war, UN Charter, military force, Security Council, self-defense, legitimate defense, international law

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780199757213
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2015 DOI:10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199757213.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

George Fletcher, author
Professor of Law, Columbia University

Jens Ohlin, author
Assistant Professor of Law, Cornell University