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Just War: the Chicago View

June 17, 2004

http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=546104

Optimal War and Jus Ad Bellum

ERIC A. POSNER

University of Chicago Law School

ALAN O. SYKES

University of Chicago Law School April 2004

U Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 211; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 63

Abstract: The laws of war forbid states to use force against each other except in self-defense or with the authorization of the United Nations Security Council. Self-defense is usually understood to mean self-defense against an imminent threat. We model the decision of states to use force against "rogue" states, and argue that under certain conditions it may be proper to expand the self-defense exception to preemptive self-defense. We also consider related issues such as humanitarian intervention, collective security, and the role of the Security Council. Keywords: laws of war, United Nations

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