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The Ethics of Armed Conflict

A Cosmopolitan Just War Theory

John W. Lango

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How do we decide whether a use of armed force is just or unjust?

Just war theory exists to stop armies and countries from using armed force without good cause. But how can we judge whether a war is just? In this original book, John W. Lango takes some distinctive approaches to the ethics of armed conflict.

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1. Introduction
2. Just War Theory
3. Moral Theory
4. Theory of Action
5. Just Cause
6. Last Resort
7. Last Resort and Noncombatant Immunity
8. Proportionality and Authority
9. All Things Considered

About the Author

John W. Lango is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He has written numerous articles on just war theory and related subjects, including armed humanitarian intervention, preventive war, nonviolent action, nonlethal weapons, battlefield intelligence, and peacekeeping missions. He is one of the editors of Rethinking the Just War Tradition (2007).


Lango's book is a well-written, important, unique contribution to just war theory, with many more merits than any brief review can consider. It rewards patience on the part of readers who would like a more linear and practically committed presentation.

- Peter Tramel, Fort Hays State University, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews

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