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What is War?

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Title: What is War?
Creators: Mueller, John; O'Connell, Mary Ellen
Keywords: war
security
conflict
human rights
Issue Date: 2007-09-14
Series/Report no.: Mershon Center for International Security Studies. Conferences
Abstract: How should we define war? This is not just an academic question. The most basic human rights -- including the right to life, the right to a trial, the right to own property -- all depend on whether a conflict is legally definable as war or not. At the moment there is no clear legal line dividing the two situations. Governments tend to deny that fighting on their territories is war, arguing instead that it is “criminal activity,” and claiming that they have it under control. Following the September 11 attacks, the United States reversed the trend, declaring war where many would see crime. Based on this argument, people have been killed, detained without trial, had their property confiscated, and lost many other rights that are taken for granted in times of peace.
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URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1811/30134
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