9780465019106

Just War Against Terror

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780465019106

  • ISBN10:

    0465019102

  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2003-03-01
  • Publisher: Basic Books

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Summary

Jean Bethke Elshtain has been hailed as one of this country's most influential public intellectuals. Michael Walzer called her award-winning Democracy on Trial "the work of a truly independent, deeply serious, politically engaged, and wonderfully provocative political theorist." These rare qualities are once again vividly in force in Just War Against Terrorism.In this hard-hitting book, Elshtain advocates "just war" in times of crisis and mounts a reasoned attack against the defenses of terrorism that have abounded since September 11. Arguing that those who defend terrorist acts on the basis of their "root causes"-poverty, political conflict, infringement of Western values on Islamic culture-minimize the responsibility of terrorists, Elshtain interrogates the sources of root-cause reasoning and traces them to a fundamental misunderstanding of the Judeo-Christian ethic of war and peace, compounded by "faux-pacifist" positions and retro-sixties cultural romance. Why, she asks, are pacifist alternatives so palpably inadequate? So implausible? Often so irresponsible? How indeed does one respond to acts of terror that constitute an act of war perpetrated against one's own citizenry? Advocating an ethic of responsibility, Elshtain forces us to ask tough questions not only about the nature of Islam but also about ourselves.Elegantly written and forcefully argued, Just War Against Terror offers a badly needed and refreshingly clear look at responses to terror in the modern world.

Author Biography

Jean Bethke Elshtain is the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago. She is the author of Just War Against Terror and Democracy on Trial, among other books. She lives in Nashville, Tennessee and Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction: ``Politics is not the Nursery'' 1(8)
What Happened on September 11?
9(17)
What is at Stake?
26(20)
What is a Just War?
46(13)
Is the war Against Terrorism Just?
59(12)
The Academy Responds to Terror
71(14)
Taking Terrorists at Their Word
85(14)
Where is the Legacy of Niebuhr and Tillich?
99(13)
The Pulpit Responds to Terror
112(13)
The Problem with Peace
125(14)
Encountering Islamist Fundamentalism
139(11)
States and Self-Defense in a Dangerous Time
150(11)
American Power and Responsibility
161(13)
Epilogue: Four Brave Women 174(8)
Appendix: What We're Fighting For 182(26)
Notes 208(19)
Index 227

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