The Just War Theory Essay example

The Just War Theory Essay example

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The Just War theory has some moral contents, but it is significantly pragmatic in its character and application. Both sides of a war want to claim that their causes are just. They frame the war aims as ‘just’ to achieve support of the public and the international community. Even Generals project the justness of the war which tends the soldiers to fight longer and fiercer against the enemy. Hence, ‘justness’ or ‘rightness’ of a war are important for any military intervention. However, it is very difficult to define what is ‘just’ or ‘unjust’. I argue that elites give the interpretation of the ‘justness’ of a war and media coverage helps to reach that interpretation to the public. Existing literatures of public opinion argue that information about the successes or the failures, objectives of a mission, number of casualty or elite cues are variables regarding public support for the wars. I argue that elite consensus is most important variable for shaping public opinion concerning war and it determines rightness of waging, continuing and ending a war. In this paper, I analyze the relationship between elite consensus and media coverage in shaping public opinion about justness of military intervention.
Just War Theory: What makes it ‘Just’?
The Just War Theory has three phases; Jus ad Bellum, Jus in Bello and Jus post Bellum. The elements of the Jus ad Bellum are - Competent Authority, Just Cause, Right Intention, Comparative Justice, Probability of Success, Last Resort and Proportionality. A legitimate authority will make the decision to resort to war to protect life from a real and imminent danger. The intention of fighting should be honorable and there should be ...

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...dies Review, 42, 283-312
• Fussell, (1989) Wartime, chapter 18 (pp. 267-298)
• Gartner, Scott. (2011), “On Behalf of a Grateful Nation: Conventionalized Images of Loss and Individual Opinion Change in War.” International Studies Quarterly 55, 545-561.
• Gelpi, C. (2010) “Performing on cue? The Formation of Public Opinion Toward War.” The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 54(1), pp. 88-116.
• Gelpi, C., Feaver, P.D. and Reifler, J. (2006) "Success Matters: Casualty Sensitivity and the War in Iraq." International Security, 30(3), pp. 7-46.
• Jentleson, B.W., Britton, R.L. (1998). "Still Pretty Prudent: Post-Cold War American Public Opinion on the Use of Military Force." Journal of Conflict Resolution, 42(4), pp. 395-417.
• Mueller, "The Iraq Syndrome." (2005) Foreign Affairs, November/December, pp. 44-54.
• Sites, (1994) The Hot Zone, chapter 1 (pp. 5-27)

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