Terrorism and the Right to Resist: A Theory of Just Revolutionary War
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The words 'rebellion' and 'revolution' have gained renewed prominence in the vocabulary of world politics and so has the question of justifiable armed 'resistance'. In this book Christopher J. Finlay extends just war theory to provide a rigorous and systematic account of the right to resist oppression and of the forms of armed force it can justify. He specifies the circumstances in which rebels have the right to claim recognition as legitimate actors in revolutionary wars against domestic tyranny and injustice and wars of liberation against wrongful foreign occupation and colonialism. Arguing that violence is permissible only in a narrow range of cases, Finlay shows that the rules of engagement vary during and between different conflicts and explores the potential for irregular tactics to become justifiable, such as non-uniformed guerrillas and civilian disguise, the assassination of political leaders and regime officials, and the waging of terrorist war against civilian targets.
rights can justify the pursuit of national selfdetermination or a comprehensive vision of social justice in some cases, they can also (perhaps more easily) justify the pursuit of some religious goals. Many historical revolutionary movements have combined a commitment to individual rights or to national self-determination and social justice with religiously inspired goals. The concerns of Protestants and especially of more radical dissenting sects were central to the civic republican movements of
whole of one’s liberty. Only then could one claim a right to use lethal force. No longer a question of defending liberties or fighting for political rights, armed resistance, on this account, would lose its distinctively political character since it would be little different from simple self-defence. To make matters worse, if the narrow proportionality objection is upheld, we would also have to conclude that the right of self-defence could be invoked against members of the resistance if they
volitions, this rule would certainly have place, and might serve to the wisest purposes: But were mankind to execute such a law; so great is the uncertainty of merit, both from its natural obscurity, and from the self-conceit of each individual, that no determinate rule of conduct would ever result from it; and the total dissolution of society must be the immediate consequence.61 61 Hume (1902: Section III, Part II, Paragraph 2). 118 Theory and principles Instead, Hume argues, it is
estimated that 1,300 Czechs were murdered by the Nazis in retaliation.34 For lesser targets than Heydrich, the Nazis at times inflicted proportionately smaller but nevertheless brutal and highly prohibitive revenge.35 If highly oppressive regimes are able to do this, then they may be able to increase costs and risks towards the point where it is difficult – and perhaps impossible – to resist proportionately and, hence, to establish all-things-considered justification. I presume that line (B),
leaders whose ability to rule is based on violence and usurpation rather than on a valid claim of legitimate 25 Though of course this brackets the question of ‘deeper’ moral responsibility for the killing of just warriors. Non-state groups and the authority to wage war 173 political authority. In such cases, attributing Lesser Authority does not affect the usual implications of the leaders’ illegitimacy: it does not grant them a right to act on behalf of the state and its people; and it does