Authorization and the Morality of War

Seth Lazar*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    Why does it matter that those who fight wars be authorized by the communities on whose behalf they claim to fight? I argue that lacking authorization generates a moral cost, which counts against a war's proportionality, and that having authorization allows the transfer of reasons from the members of the community to those who fight, which makes the war more likely to be proportionate. If democratic states are better able than non-democratic states and sub-state groups to gain their community's authorization, this means that some wars will be proportionate if fought by democracies, disproportionate if not.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)211-226
    Number of pages16
    JournalAustralasian Journal of Philosophy
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2016


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