War and Political Theory
War and Political Theory

In a world that continues to be riven by armed conflict, the fundamental moral and political questions raised by warfare are as important as ever. Under what circumstances are we justified in going to war?  Can conflicts be waged in a ‘moral’ way? Is war an inevitable feature of a world driven by power politics? What are the new ethical challenges raised by new weapons and technology, from drones to swarming attack robots?

This book is an engaging and up-to-date examination of these questions and more, penned by a foremost expert in the field. Using many historical cases, it examines all the core disputes and doctrines, ranging from realism to pacifism, from just war theory and international law, to feminism and the democratic peace thesis. Its scope stretches from the primordial causes and perennial drivers of war to the cyber-centric space-age future of armed conflict in the 21st century.

War and Political Theory is essential reading for anyone, whether advanced expert or undergraduate, who wants to understand the pressing empirical realities and theoretical issues, historical and contemporary, associated with armed conflict.

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  • March 2019 (pb)
    March 2019 (hb)
  • 220 pages
  • 138 x 216 mm / 5 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $64.95
  • 9781509524969
  • Paperback $22.95
  • 9781509524976
  • Open eBook $22.95
  • 9781509525003
Table of Contents



Chapter 1: The Ontology of War

Chapter 2: Realism: Power, Security, and Nationalism

Chapter 3: Pacifism: Ethics, Cosmopolitanism, and Non-violence

Chapter 4: Just War Theory and International Law: Start-of-War

Chapter 5: Just War Theory and International Law: Conduct-during-War

Chapter 6: Just War Theory and International Law: End-of-War

Chapter 7: The Future of Warfare

About the Author

Brian Orend is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Waterloo

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"War and Political Theory is an essential work that brilliantly elucidates the core principles shaping our understanding of the ethics and politics of conflicts. With keen theoretical analysis and vivid examples, Orend unpacks the most complex issues in present and future warfare."
Shannon E. French, Case Western Reserve University

"Orend develops a rich analysis of the ethical challenges posed by both the changing character of war and its enduring nature. Throughout, his deep knowledge of the literature and debates illuminates the subject and informs the reader."
David Whetham, King’s College London

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