Transformation of Justification of Violence?

New TraCe Working Paper Examines Continuity and Change in War Justification.

first page of new working paper

The history of war is always also a history of its critique and justification that refers to the formation of international order. As the most recent example of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine also shows, political actors always refer to international norms in their justifications of war. These justifications and norms have a complex relationship. But how has this relationship between the justification of war and international order developed and changed over the years?

The new TraCe Working Paper “Transformation(s) of the Justification of Violence? On the Relationship between the Legitimation of War and International Order-Building in History and the Present” examines how state actors justify their use of force before the international community. It examines both historical continuities and ruptures that all in all point to a transformation of the international order.

For this purpose, the authors Dr Hendrik Simon and Prof. Dr Lothar Brock of the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt take their readers on a journey through the history of the juridification of inter­national relations. Using key historical stages from antiquity to the present day within a primarily European discourse, they illustrate the tense relation­ship between continuity and change in the legitimation of war and the inter­national order.

The German-language working paper is available for download here.