Just and Unjust Wars

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Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations
Just and Unjust Wars.jpg
Author Michael Walzer
Country United States
Language English
Genre Philosophy
Published 1977 (Basic Books)
Media type Print
ISBN 0-465-03705-4 (third edition)
0-465-03707-0 (third edition)

Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations is a 1977 book by Michael Walzer published by Basic Books and still in print, now as part of the Basic Books Classics Series. A second edition was published in 1992, a third edition in 2000, and a fourth edition in 2006. The book resulted from Walzer's reflections on the Vietnam War.


Walzer draws on medieval Just War Theory to explore the reasons that can justify war jus ad bellum and the ethical limits on the conduct of war jus in bello in an attempt to work out a modern, secular theory of just war.[1]

Scholarly reception[edit]

Just and Unjust Wars has, together with Spheres of Justice (1983) and Interpretation and Social Criticism (1987), been identified as one of Walzer's most important works by philosopher Will Kymlicka.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fifty key thinkers in international relations, Martin Griffiths, Routledge, 1999, pp. 162-167
  2. ^ Kymlicka, Will (2005). Honderich, Ted, ed. The Oxford Companion to Philosophy. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 952. ISBN 0-19-926479-1.