Just War Theory

Emma Moon Research Portfolio

Just War Theory Applicability to US Intelligence in the 21st Century

A Literature Review

By Emma Moon / Spring 2020

The literature explored in this review aims to answer the research question of whether Just War Theory applies to the 21st Century. This literature review highlights eight different themes in espionage scholarly research concerned with the ethical framework of laws guiding intelligence activities. First, the concept of ethical violence is presented from its philosophical origins. Second, the philosophy is charted as it makes its way into social norms, including those that influence warfare. Third, war is examined within the context of universal principles to establish whether an ethical theory is genuinely present in international law. Fourth, international law’s relationship to intelligence activities is outlined, consequently assigning espionage as a privilege of individual nations. Fifth, Just War Theory is discussed as a modern manifestation of the ancient attempt to put limits…

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