Nobody Wins: The Victory Taboo in Just War Theory

Journal of Strategic Studies

Author/s (editor/s):

Cian O'Driscoll

Publication year:


Publication type:

Journal article

Find this publication at:
Taylor & Francis

Cian O’Driscoll, ‘Nobody Wins: The Victory Taboo in Just War Theory’, Journal of Strategic Studies, 42(7) 2019: 901-19.

This article examines how scholars of the just war tradition think about the ethical dilemmas that arise in the endgame phase of modern warfare. In particular, it focuses upon their reticence to engage the idiom of ‘victory’. Why, it asks, have scholars been so reluctant to talk about what it means to ‘win’ a just war? It contends that, while just war scholars may have good reason to be sceptical about ‘victory’, engaging it would grant them a more direct view of the critical potentialities, but also the limitations, of just war reasoning.

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