Post War Justice: Jus Post Bellum for Just War and Peace
Ethics in Progress (ISSN 2084-9257). Vol. 14 (2023). No. 1


Just War Theory
jus post bellum
post war justice
maximalist jus post bellum

How to Cite

Rathour, M. (2023). Post War Justice: Jus Post Bellum for Just War and Peace . ETHICS IN PROGRESS, 14(1), 24–45.


This paper aims to address a key topic of speculation within political philosophy, namely the Just War Theory. The Just War Theory works to ethically restrain wars based on principles listed out in jus ad bellum (reasons to go to war) and jus in bello (conduct during war). As such, the theory dominated by the debate between the ‘traditionalists’ and ‘revisionists’ who are concerned about the integration of jus post bellum as the third branch of just war theory and feel it is better suited to the domain of international politics and security. This paper explores this lacunae over the neglect of jus post bellum (post war justice) within the just war discourse. By identifying the limitations of a minimalist jus post bellum and this misrepresentation of peace with security, this paper defends a maximalist account of jus post bellum and also situates post war justice as a necessary third branch of the Just War Theory. The challenges to taking such an extensive stance on post war justice are also addressed. As the first two branches of just war theory have been codified, the neglect of the post war stage leads to unrestrained war endings and ad-hoc solutions. Any just war theory needs to recognize the legitimacy of the third branch of post war justice as well, as only then can the Just War Theory function to restrain wars.


Allan P. & Keller A. 2006. What Is a Just Peace? Oxford University Press. DOI:

Allman M. J. & Winright T. L. 2010. After the Smoke Clears: The Just War Tradition and Post War Justice. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Armstrong A. C. 1931. ”Kant’s Philosophy of Peace and War,” The Journal of Philosophy 28(8):197–204. DOI:

Barela S. J. & Keller A. 2015. ”Justice, Peace and Jus Post Bellum,” Amsterdam Law Forum 7(1):98–107. DOI:

Barry C. 2011. ”A Challenge to the Reigning Theory of the Just War,” International Affairs 87(2):457–466. DOI:

Bass G. J. 2004. ”Jus Post Bellum,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 32(4):384–412. DOI:

Bellamy A. J. 2008. ’The Responsibilities of Victory: Jus Post Bellum and the Just War,” Review of International Studies 34(4):601–625. DOI:

Buchanan A. 2006. ”Institutionalizing the Just War,” Philosophy & Public Affairs 34(1):2-38. DOI:

Burke A. 2004. ”Just War or Ethical Peace? Moral Discourses of Strategic Violence after 9/11,” International Affairs 80(2):329–353. DOI:

Ceulemans C. 2014. ”After the Dust Settles: Reflections on Postwar Justice,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 42(3):908–917. DOI:

Demenchonok E. 2007. ”From a State of War to Perpetual Peace,” The American Journal of Economics and Sociology 66(1):25–48. DOI:

Diehl P. F. 2016. ”Exploring Peace: Looking beyond War and Negative Peace,” International Studies Quarterly 60(1):1–10. 05 DOI:

East M. 2004. ”What Is International Humanitarian Law?,” ICRC Advisory Service of International Humanitarian Law Organization:1–2. URL: (retrieved 12 August 2022).

Forsyth M., Kent L., Dinnen S., Wallis J., & Bose S. 2017. ”Hybridity in Peacebuilding and Development: A Critical Approach,” Third World Thematics: A TWQ Journal 2(4):407–421. DOI:

Evans M. 2008. ”Balancing Peace, Justice and Sovereignty in Jus Post Bellum: The Case of ’Just Occupation’,” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 36(3):533–554. DOI:

Evans M. 2009. ”Moral Responsibilities and the Conflicting Demands of Jus Post Bellum,” Ethics & International Affairs 23(2):147–164. DOI:

Evans M. 2012. ”Just Peace: An Elusive Ideal,” in E. Patterson (Ed.), Ethics Beyond War’s End (pp. 207–220). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Fabre C. 2008. ”Cosmopolitanism, Just War Theory, and Legitimate Authority,” DOI:

International Affairs 84(5):963-976.

Fuller L. L. 1964. The Morality of Law. New Haven: Yale University Press.

Galtung J. & Fischer D. 2013. Johan Galtung: Pioneer of Peace Research. Springer. DOI:

Gleditsch N. P., Nordkvelle J. & Strand H. 2014. ”Peace Research - Just the Study of War?” Journal of Peace Research 51(2):145–158. DOI:

ICISS. 2001. The Responsibility to Protect, Report. Published by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), Canada.

Iraq Inquiry Report. 2016. Printed in the UK by the Williams Lea Group on Behalf of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office. URL: (retrieved 14 August 2022).

Koeman A. 2007. ”A Realistic and Effective Constraint on the Resort to Force? Precommitment to Jus in Bello and Jus Post Bellum as Part of the Criterion of Right Intention,” Journal of Military Ethics 6(3):198–220. DOI:

Kukathas C. 2003. The Liberal Archipelago: A Theory of Diversity and Freedom. Oxford Academic. DOI:

Langan J. 1984. ”The Elements of St. Augustine’s Just War Theory,” Journal of Religious Ethics 12(1):19–38.

Lazar S. 2010. ”The Responsibility Dilemma for Killing in War: A Review Essay,” Philosophy and Public Affairs 38(2):180–213. DOI:

Lazar S. 2012. ”Skepticism about Jus Post Bellum,” in L. May & A. Forcehimes (Eds.), Morality, Jus Post Bellum, and International Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (ASIL Studies in International Legal Theory) (pp. 204–222). DOI:

Lazar S. 2017. ”Just War Theory: Revisionists vs. Traditionalists,” Annual Review of Political Science 20(1):1–16. DOI:

Lewis S. & Thu Thu A. 2018. ”Myanmar’s ’Ethnic Cleansing’ of Rohingya Continues, U.N Rights Official Says,” Reuters. URL: (retrieved 13 August 2022).

May L. 2007. War Crimes and Just War. Cambridge University Press. DOI:

May L. & Crookston E. 2008. War: Essays in Political Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. DOI:

McCready D. 2009. ”Ending the War Right: Jus Post Bellum and the Just War Tradition,” Journal of Military Ethics 8(1):66–78. DOI:

McMahan J. 2004. ”Unjust War in Iraq,” The Pelican Record XLI (5):21–33. URL: (retrieved 13 August 2022).

McMahan J. 2007. ”Just War,” in R. E. Goodin, P. Petit, & T. Pogge (Eds.), A Companion to Contemporary Political Philosophy (pp. 669–677). 2nd Edition. Oxford: Blackwell. DOI:

McMahan J., Buchanan A., Deigh J., Kateb G., Metz T., Smilansky S., …, & Zohar N. 2004. ”The Ethics of Killing in War,” Ethics 114(4):693–733. DOI:

Münkler H. & Camiller P. 2005. The New Wars. Oxford: Polity. Brunstetter D. R. & O’Driscoll C. (Eds.) 2018. Just War Thinkers: From Cicero to the 21st Century. Series: War, Conflict and Ethics. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Orend B. 1999. ”Kant’s Just War Theory,” Journal of the History of Philosophy 37(2):323-353. DOI:

Orend B. 2000. ”Jus Post Bellum,” Journal of Social Philosophy 31(1):117–137. DOI:

Orend B. 2002. ”Justice After War,” Ethics and International Affairs 16(1):43–56. DOI:

Orend B. 2004. ”Kant’s Ethics of War and Peace,” Journal of Military Ethics 3(2):161–177. DOI:

Orend B. 2006. The Morality of War. Peterborough, Ontario, CA: Broadview Press. URL: (retrieved 31 August 2022).

Orend B. 2007. ”Jus Post Bellum: The Perspective of a Just-War Theorist,” Leiden Journal of International Law 20(3):571–591. DOI:

Orend B. 2012. ”Justice after War,” in E. Patterson (Ed.), Ethics Beyond War’s End (pp. 175–195). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Österdahl I. & van Zadel E. 2009. ”What Will Jus Post Bellum Mean? Of New Wine and Old Bottles,” Journal of Conflict and Security Law 14(2):175–207. DOI:

Pattison J. 2015. ”Jus Post Bellum and the Responsibility to Rebuild,” British Journal of Political Science 45(3):635–661. DOI:

Pattison J. 2016. “The Case for the Nonideal Morality of War: Beyond Revisionism versus Traditionalism in Just War Theory,” Political Theory 46(3):242–268. DOI:

Peperkamp L. 2014. ”Jus Post Bellum: A Case of Minimalism versus Maximalism?” Ethical Perspectives 2(2):255–288.

Peperkamp L. 2017. Jus Post Bellum and the Nature of Peace. Oisterwijk, the Netherlands: Wolf Legal Publishers.

Ripstein A. 2016. “Just War, Regular War, and Perpetual Peace,” Kant-Studien 107:1. DOI:

Roberts D. 2008. ”Post-Conflict State Building and State Legitimacy: From Negative to Positive Peace?” Development and Change 39(4):537–555. DOI:

Rodin D. & Shue H. 2008. Just and Unjust Warriors. The Moral and Legal Status of Soldiers. Oxford University Press.

Ryan C. 2011. ”Democratic Duty and the Moral Dilemmas of Soldiers,” Ethics 122(1):10-42. DOI:

Schuck M. J. 1994. ”When the Shooting Stops: Missing Elements in Just War Theory,” The Christian Century 111(30):982–984. URL: (retrieved 13 August 2022).

Shiller A. 2015. ”The Modern Secularization of Just War Theory and Its Lessons for Contemporary Thought,” Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository. 3007. URL: (retrieved 31 August 2022).

Stahn C. & Kleffner J. K. 2008. Jus Post Bellum: Towards a Law of Transition from Conflict to Peace. T.M.C. ASSER Press, Springer. DOI:

Stahn C., Easterday J. S., & Iverson J. 2014. Jus Post Bellum: Mapping the Normative Foundations. Oxford University Press. DOI:

Strawser B. J. 2013. ”Revisionist Just War Theory and the Real World: A Cautiously Optimistic Proposal,” in F. Allhoff, N. G. Evans & A. Henschke (Eds.), Routledge Handbook of Ethics and War: Just War Theory in the 21st Century (pp. 76–90). 1st Edition. London: Routledge.

Walzer M. 1977. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations. 4th Edition. New York: Basic Books. DOI:

Walzer M. 2006. ”Terrorism and Just War,” Philosophia 34(1):3–12. DOI:

Walzer M. 2009. ”Responsibility and Proportionality in State and Nonstate Wars,” Parameters 39(1):40–52. DOI:

Williams H. 2009. ”Is Just War Theory Merely for Sorry Comforters?” Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics 17:195–224.

Williams R. E. Jr., D. C. 2006. “Jus Post Bellum: Just War Theory and the Principles of Just Peace,” International Studies Perspectives 7:309–320. DOI: