Justice in Post-war Reconstruction: Theories from Vitoria to Vattel

Jan 2003 – May 2010

Dissertation Advisers: Jon Elster (Columbia University & CSCW) & David Johnston (Columbia University)

This dissertation is a study of the morality and international regulation of post-war reconstruction within the modern tradition of just war theory. Post-war reconstruction appears in this tradition as an imperative of the aftermath of war, which is in turn seen as the third morally relevant period of war-making. The first two periods are the decision to go to war and the conduct of warfare, and the full study of just wars consists in the study of each period, as well as of their conceptual and normative connections. The doctrine of the justice of the decision to go to war is usually labelled jus ad bellum, and that of the just conduct of warfare jus in bello. The expression jus post bellum is of more recent coinage, but I use it as the natural counterpart to the other two. Over the last fifty years, the first two periods of war have somehow received far more scholarly attention than the third, but post-war justice has been a well-established area of study in the just war tradition for a long time. In the tradition, a war is deemed fully just if and only if it is the outcome of a just decision, it is fought justly, and it ends justly.

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