In this well-researched contribution to the literature on ethics of just-war thinking, Hall (Fayetteville State Univ.) not only reviews the role of ethical theory in supporting just war, but provides a meaningful assessment of the central, but sometimes overlooked, place of natural law ethics in establishing just war as a moral framework intended to defend rights. Drawing on the work of Michael Walzer and Brian Orend, Hall examines the natural law foundations of just war through theorists from Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, and the Scholastics to the Enlightenment philosophers (Thomas Hobbes, Samuel von Pufendorf, John Locke). Hall analyzes established just-war criteria and then adds two relevant categories to just-war thinking—justice before war (jus ad pacem) and justice after war (jus post bellum)—to expand just-war discussions and defend the self-preservation right central to natural law ethics. The author applies just-war thinking to preemptive wars and humanitarian interventions, then discusses rights, the sovereignty of nations, and the "personhood of states" as relevant to just-war thinking. Discussions of just war in relation to contemporary issues—torture, cyberattacks, assassination, and sovereignty-intrusive intelligence gathering—round out this excellent contribution to the literature on just war. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty.— Choice Reviews
In one book, the reader is able to understand normative theory and natural law in its application to Just War Theory. These are important concepts as we seek to apply conventional conflict models to asymmetrical warfare that engage civil liberty issues. — Jan Goldman, The Citadel
Richard Hall has produced an insightful and thoughtful book focusing on the justice of war. With profound knowledge and brilliant clarity that exemplifies this work, Hall provides an important contribution to the study of the concept of Just War, as well as, numerous vital and related topics. Truly, a significant and remarkable contribution to this fascination field of study. An enthralling read, with vivid detail and examples.
— David Gray, University of North Carolina