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Just Wars and Geopolitical Justice

Thomas Moore
University of Westminster
Thomas Moore
University of Westminster
Open Panel

Abstract

This paper examines the dimensions of global constitutionalism and the assumption that global constitutionalism can act as a ''global moral science’ in regulating states, agents and structures in international relations. Carl Schmitt warned against an image of the international that rested upon ‘global’ assumptions about the capacity of European law to remake the world according to moral frameworks. Such an image of global constitutionalism fails to take seriously the division of the world into geopolitical units, each embodying their own image of law vis-à-vis other traditions. Schmitt’s Nomos of the Earth presents a critique of the global capacity of modern constitutionalism. This paper seeks to examine these questions through contemporary just war theory and considers the importance of geopolitical thinking for making sense of normative orders within international political thought. It is the intersection between geopolitics and normative orders that has largely been omitted from contemporary just war theory. By bringing the insights of Schmitt’s constitutional theory to moral debates about jus ad bellum and jus in bello the intention is to explore the normative limits of the just war tradition in international political thought.