• This paper examines the social contract theories of Grotius, Hobbes, Pufendorf, and Locke, highlighting the failure of their contractarian defenses of the military and military service. In order to ground the duties of military service, each theorist presumes a chivalric gender order wherein men as men are expected to be willing to sacrifice themselves as violent instruments for the sake of their families and communities. While Grotius, Hobbes, and Pufendorf use the contract method to defend abs…Read more
  •  15
    Walzer and War: Reading Just and Unjust Wars Today (edited book)
    with Mark Wilson
    Palgrave. 2020.
    This book presents ten original essays that reassess the meaning, relevance, and legacy of Michael Walzer’s classic, Just and Unjust Wars. Written by leading figures in philosophy, theology, international politics and the military, the essays examine topics such as territorial rights, lessons from America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the practice of humanitarian intervention in light of experience, Walzer’s notorious discussion of supreme emergencies, revisionist criticisms of noncombatant im…Read more
  •  10
    The Incoherence of Walzer’s Just War Theory
    Social Theory and Practice 38 (4): 663-688. 2012.
    In his Just and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer claims that his theory of just war is based on the rights of individuals to life and liberty. This is not the case. Walzer in fact bases his theory of jus ad bellum on the supreme rights of supra-individual political communities. According to his theory of jus ad bellum, the rights of political communities are of utmost importance, and individuals can be sacrificed for the sake of these communal rights. At the same time, Walzer bases his theory of jus …Read more
  •  50
    Public War and the Moral Equality of Combatants
    Journal of Military Ethics 11 (4): 2012. 2012.
    Following Hugo Grotius, a distinction is developed between private and public war. It is argued that, contrary to how most contemporary critics of the moral equality of combatants construe it, the just war tradition has defended the possibility of the moral equality of combatants as an entailment of the justifiability of public war. It is shown that contemporary critics of the moral equality of combatants are denying the possibility of public war and, in most cases, offering a conception of jus…Read more
  •  32
    What is the Classical Theory of Just Cause? a Response to Reichberg
    Journal of Military Ethics 12 (4): 357-369. 2013.
    Gregory Reichberg’s argument against my reading of the classical just war theorists falsely assumes that if just cause is unilateral, then there is no moral equality of combatants. This assumption is plausible if we assume an individualist framework. However, the classical theorists accepted quasi-Aristotelian, communitarian social ontologies and theories of justice. For them, the political community is ontologically and morally prior to the private individual. The classical just war theorists b…Read more
  •  110
    The Incoherence of Walzer’s Just War Theory
    Social Theory and Practice 38 (4): 663-88. 2012.
    In his Just and Unjust Wars, Michael Walzer claims that his theory of just war is based on the rights of individuals to life and liberty. This is not the case. Walzer in fact bases his theory of jus ad bellum on the supreme rights of supra-individual political communities. According to his theory of jus ad bellum, the rights of political communities are of utmost importance, and individuals can be sacrificed for the sake of these communal rights. At the same time, Walzer bases his theory of jus …Read more
  • Grotius
    Philosophical Forum 42 (3): 292-293. 2011.
  •  52
    The Dualism of Modern Just War Theory
    Philosophia 45 (2): 751-771. 2017.
    Conventional modern just war theory is fundamentally incoherent. On the one hand, the theory contains a theory of public war wherein ethical responsibility for the justice of war belongs uniquely to political sovereigns while subjects, including soldiers, are obligated to serve in war upon the sovereign’s command. On the other hand, the theory contains a theory of discrimination which presupposes that participants in war, including soldiers, are responsible for the justice of the wars they fight…Read more