John W. Lango speaks about his book, The Ethics of Armed Conflict: A Cosmopolitan Just War Theory, published by Edinburgh University Press.
Why did you agree to allow your book to be included in the Knowledge Unlatched Pilot?
The subject of my book is very timely. Open Access guarantees quick availability to a wide readership. I did not write my book for profit, so I am happy to make it available as an e-book at no cost. On the other hand, I wanted to have it published as a traditional book by a university press with a peer refereeing process. The Knowledge Unlatched Pilot enables me to satisfy both of these goals.
Who would you most like to read your book and why?
My book is a scholarly monograph, but it is fairly accessible and not overly technical. It should be of interest to academics and researchers working on the ethics of war and peace in departments and programs of international studies, military affairs, peace and justice, philosophy, political science, religion, and so forth. It should also be of interest to some graduate students and sufficiently advanced undergraduate students. Additionally, there are some government officials, military personnel, and professionals in nongovernmental organizations who are interested in such books. My book is not a trade book, but some general readers should find it accessible and interesting.
Were you interested in Open Access before you became aware of the Knowledge Unlatched pilot?
Any other comments?
In my book, some distinctive approaches to the ethics of armed conflict are interwoven: A revisionist approach that involves generalising traditional just war principles, so that they are applicable by all sorts of responsible agents to all forms of armed conflict. A cosmopolitan approach that features the Security Council. A preventive approach that emphasises alternatives to armed force, including negotiation and mediation, nonviolent action, and peacekeeping missions. A temporalist approach that prioritises the application of just war principles prospectively to present and future armed conflicts. A coherentist approach that interrelates just war principles, general moral principles (e.g., distributive justice) and real-world cases (e.g., the Rwandan genocide). A human rights approach that encompasses not only armed humanitarian intervention but also armed invasion, armed revolution, and all other forms of armed conflict. The book includes extensive discussions of principles of just cause, last resort, proportionality, and noncombatant immunity. An assortment of other topics are considered, including: Moral dilemmas of armed conflict. Standards of evidence for moral judgements. Legitimate authority. Deterrence. Escalation. Targeted airstrikes. No-fly zones. The goal of peace. Recent real-world cases are utilized as illustrations, for example, the cases of Afghanistan, Darfur, Libya, and South Sudan.
John W. Lango's The Ethics of Armed Conflict: A Cosmopolitan Just War Theory as well as 27 other titles are available through our Pilot Collection.