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The Law and Ethics of War's Ending


The project LEWE will seek to develop a moral and legal framework within just war theory for ending wars, and in particular, asymmetric conflicts (for example between states and non-state actors). Just war theory has given little attention to these forms of conflict, or indeed how and when they should end.Currently no moral theory of conflict termination yet exists. The proposed research is intended to offer such a theory.
The first aim of the research will be to develop an account of legitimate goals in asymmetric conflicts, which must be considered in necessity, proportionality, and achievability determinations—just war theory’s crucial constraints on war-making. The research will then as a second aim develop criteria to evaluate whether military goals in asymmetric war are necessary, proportionate, and achievable. It will explore the idea that, in asymmetric wars, there need not be a particular point at which a state of hostilities immediately gives way to cease-fire or armistice. Instead it may be possible to identify an interval during which asymmetric wars should be brought to an end, by carefully applying the necessity, proportionality, and probability of success constraints to the goals of war. After deriving the termination framework, the research will assess how its recommendations can be incorporated into international law. This action has the potential to create a broader ethics of peacemaking, distinct from military standards and objectives, that would comprehend morally acceptable goals. Altogether, the current proposal combines the complementary strengths of the researcher and the host to establish the building blocks for a new moral and legal theory of ending asymmetric conflicts, the most prevalent form of war.

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


Wellington Square University Offices
OX1 2JD Oxford
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 224 933,76