Just War and the Modern Reservist: A comparative study of the moral ethic narrative of Walzer’s Just War Theory and the modern Dutch Reservists

Thumbnail Image
Issue Date
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
In 21st century conflicts warfare has evolved into in a context of transnational threats with increasing vague perceptions of soldiers, insurgents and civilians. In order to adapt to these changes the Dutch military created a unit for Civil Military Co-Operation (CIMIC) called 1CMIco. However their approach to this new ‘civil’ tactic is quite unique. The aim of this research is to analyze to what extent the role of these relatively new civilian-military actors (‘RSDs’) within 1CMIco fit in the ethical Just War Theory, being both critical to the actors as the narrative itself. For this analysis Michael Wazler’s ‘Just and Unjust Wars’ is set as a basis for the definition of Just War. As part of this research, reservists and professional soldiers of 1CMIco have been interviewed. These interviews are analyzed and compared with the framework of a literature analysis of the concepts and ontology of Just War Theory narrative, in order to determine their moral status and the effectiveness of JWT. The findings show that in comparison to Walzer’s traditionalist moral narrative, RSDs can be morally contested due to greater personal freedom, motivations and flexibility. However Walzer’s approach to just war is arguably not fully equipped to incorporate these ‘new’ actors into his narrative due to Walzer’s homogenous rhetoric.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen