Researchers Contact Information

The Erik Castrén Institute of International Law and Human Rights
Faculty of Law
P.O. BOX 4
FI-00014 UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI
Tel: +358 (0)29 4123140

intlaw-institute(at)helsinki.fi

Paolo Amorosa

Paolo AmorosaPhoto by Veikko Somerpuro

Between Classic Just War Theory and Humanitarian Intervention.
Moral justification of war and the religious roots of the
American approach to international law

The aim of the project is to analyze the American approach to international law, both from a scholarly and a political point of view, focusing on the period between the Civil War and the years immediately following the end of the Second World War. The point of view taken up by the research is the one of underlining the religious influence on such approach. This will be done through a twofold methodology, based on one hand on the significance of the concepts of political theology and civil religion and on the other on the consequences that religious views and ideas had on the main actors, including lawyers such as Francis Lieber and James Brown Scott, government officials at the highest level such as President Woodrow Wilson, and their decisions. The main issue investigated with the described methodology will be the moral justification of war, under the hypothesis of a link between classic just war theory and contemporary moralist paradigms, with special focus on humanitarian intervention.