Rosemary Kellison: Expanding Responsibility for the Just War: A Feminist Critique

1st edition. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019, 256 pages, ISBN 978-1-108-47314-9.

  • Mirek Tobiáš Hošman Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic


As demonstrated in any conflict, war is violent and causes grave harms to innocent persons, even when fought in compliance with just war criteria. In this book, Rosemary Kellison presents a feminist critique of just war reasoning, with particular focus on the issue of responsibility for harm to noncombatants. Contemporary just war reasoning denies the violence of war by suggesting that many of the harms caused by war are necessary, though regrettable, injuries for which inflicting agents bear no responsibility. She challenges this narrow understanding of responsibility through a feminist ethical approach that emphasizes the relationality of humans and the resulting asymmetries in their relative power and vulnerability. According to this approach, the powerful individual and collective agents who inflict harm during war are responsible for recognizing and responding to the vulnerable persons they harm, and thereby reducing the likelihood of future violence. Kellison's volume goes beyond abstract theoretical work to consider the real implications of an important ethical problem.

Author Biography

Mirek Tobiáš Hošman, Masaryk University Brno, Czech Republic

Mirek Tobiáš Hošman is a student of Economic Policy and International Relations at Masaryk University. He served as a member of the scientific committee at the XVI AISPE Conference in Bologna and conducted research internships in Estonia, Italy and Japan. His current research focuses on the international trade rules and regulations. His other interests include international political economy, philosophy of science and normative

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