Transformation of Justification of Violence?

New TraCe Working Paper Examines Continuity and Change in War Justification

View through destroyed buildings in black and white

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 German-language TraCe Working Paper on 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 Hendrik Simon and Lothar Brock 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.

The Working Paper Series of the research center “Transformations of Political Violence” (TraCe) regularly provides insights into the multi-perspective research of the Hessian research alliance of which PRIF is a member.