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Diplomatic Conference on the Reaffirmation and Development of International Humanitarian Law Applicable in Armed Conflicts. Geneva June, 1977 © ICRC/KURZ Jean-Jacques. V-P-CER-N-00017-01.

Our featured article by Jessica Whyte considers the debate over the concept of “just war.”

The "Dangerous Concept of the Just War'': Decolonization, Wars of National Liberation, and the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions

Abstract: In 2002, the North American political theorist Michael Walzer announced the “triumph of just war theory,” which he saw as evidence of moral progress. This paper challenges Walzer’s progressive narrative by turning to the often-acrimonious debates about just and unjust wars during the drafting of the Additional Protocols to the Geneva Conventions. I show that during the International Committee of the Red Cross’s “Diplomatic Conference on the Laws of War” (1974-77) it was the Third World and Soviet states that used the language of Read More »

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