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Elusive Intentions: Just War Theory and the Fragmented Nation‐State.

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    • Abstract:
      How do we know what nations intend when they wage war? Scholars of the just war tradition have tended to assume that belligerent nations intend whatever their heads of state say they intend. But this confuses descriptions of intentions—only some of them sincere—with intentions themselves. In truth, intentions are much more action‐oriented and embodied than scholars have so far realized. Nor have scholars of the just war tradition adequately reckoned with the corporate character of national intentions. In order to remedy this, I draw upon the insights of both neuroscience and the scholarly subfield known as "cognitive sports psychology" in order to craft a robustly embodied and adequately corporate account of a nation's wartime intentions. But we cannot simply plug this new understanding of intention into existing formulations of what qualifies as a just war. Assessments of national intentions will remain overly verbal and insufficiently corporate as long as scholars split war into the three phases of jus ad bellum, jus in bello, and jus post bellum. Because intention is action‐oriented, we cannot know what a nation intends until it has acted; intention unfolds across all phases of war and therefore cannot be fully known until a war is finished. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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