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French, Shannon E.; McCain, John. The Code of the Warrior: Exploring Warrior Values Past and Present
2004, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
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Added by: Simon Fokt

Back matter: Warrior cultures throughout history have developed unique codes that restrict their behavior and set them apart from the rest of society. But what possible reason could a warrior have for accepting such restraints? Why should those whose profession can force them into hellish kill-or-be-killed conditions care about such lofty concepts as honor, courage, nobility, duty, and sacrifice? And why should it matter so much to the warriors themselves that they be something more than mere murderers? The Code of the Warrior tackles these timely issues and takes the reader on a tour of warrior cultures and their values, from the ancient Greeks and Romans to the “barbaric” Vikings and Celts, from legendary chivalric knights to Native American tribesmen, from Chinese warrior monks pursuing enlightenment to Japanese samurai practicing death. Drawing these rich traditions up to the present, the author quests for a code for the warriors of today, as they do battle in asymmetric conflicts against unconventional forces and the scourge of global terrorism.

Comment: A longish article, but very useful as a thorough critique of luck egalitarianism, for the author's take on the capability approach, and for her account of democratic equality which revolves around the ideal of democratic citizenship

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Jaggar, Alison. What is Terrorism, Why is it Wrong, and Could it Ever Be Morally Justified?
2005, Journal of Social Philosophy 36(2): 202-217.
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Added by: Carl Fox

Content: Starts with a nice historical discussion of the emergence of the term ‘terrorism’ and some of the ways that it changed before and after the 9/11 attacks. Jaggar offers a specification of the concept and then her own conception, which can be practiced by governments and international bodies, and then discusses several kinds of conflict in which it may be deployed as a tactic. Here is her definition: “Terrorism is the use of extreme threats or violence designed to intimidate or subjugate governments, groups, or individuals. It is a tactic of coercion intended to promote further ends that in themselves may be good, bad or indifferent. Terrorism may be practiced by governments or international bodies or forces, sub-state groups or even individuals. Its threats or violence are aimed directly or immediately at the bodies or belongings of innocent civilians but these are typically terrorists’ secondary targets; the primary targets of terrorists are the governments, groups or individuals that they wish to intimidate” (2005: 209).

Comment: Would make good required reading on the subject of terrorism.

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McPherson, Lionel K.. Is Terrorism Distinctively Wrong?
2007, Ethics 117(3): 524-546.
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Added by: Helen Morley

Introduction: Many people, including philosophers, believe that terrorism is necessarily and egregiously wrong. I will call this “the dominant view.” The dominant view maintains that terrorism is akin to murder. This forecloses the possibility that terrorism, under any circumstances, could be morally permissible—murder, by definition, is wrongful killing. The unqualified wrongness of terrorism is thus part of this understanding of terrorism.

I will criticize the dominant view. Some philosophers have argued that terrorism might not be impermissible on either a rights‐based or a consequentialist analysis. But I will not pursue the question of whether terrorism could ever be justifiable. Rather, I will argue that the dominant view’s condemnatory attitude toward terrorism as compared to conventional war cannot be fully sustained. I propose that a version of the argument that terrorists do not have adequate authority to undertake political violence—and not the prominent argument that noncombatants should be immune from deliberate use of force against them—is the most plausible basis for finding terrorism objectionable.

Comment: McPherson challenges the view that there is something distinctively wrong about terrorism as compared to conventional warfare. In addition to a discussion on terrorism it presents challenges to traditional interpretations of just war theory.

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Roberts, Rodney C.. The American Value of Fear and the Indefinite Detention of Terrorist Suspects
2007, Public Affairs Quarterly, 21 (4): 405-419.
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Added by: Rochelle DuFord

Summary: This paper develops the claim that indefinite detention (as used by the U.S. following the attacks on September 11, 2001) is justfied by an appeal to racialized fear. Roberts argues that the indefinite detention of suspected terrorists is both immoral and unjust–claiming that arguments in favor of it (such as the interest in interrogation, the consequentialist justification, and the preventative detention argument) fail to ground the permissibility of indefinite detention.

Comment: This text would be of use in a course discussing the ethics of war, criminal justice ethics, or the idea of terrorism. It presents a clear discussion, in an accessible way, of a number of arguments in favor of indefinite detention, ultimately arguing that such defenses are insufficient to ground its moral permissibility.

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