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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban Jan 2011

Risk Taking And Force Protection, David Luban

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

This paper addresses two questions about the morality of warfare: (1) how much risk must soldiers take to minimize unintended civilian casualties caused by their own actions (“collateral damage”), and (2) whether it is the same for the enemy's civilians as for one's own.

The questions take on special importance in warfare where one side is able to attack the other side from a safe distance, but at the cost of civilian lives, while safeguarding civilians may require soldiers to take precautions that expose them to greater risk. In a well-known article, Asa Kasher and Amos Yadlin argue ...


Rethinking Crime Legislation: History And Harshness, Victoria Nourse Jan 2004

Rethinking Crime Legislation: History And Harshness, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

There is a truth about the criminal law that scholars evade as much as they criticize: the criminal law is produced by legislators (rather than the experts). The author states she does not know of any way to make law in a democracy other than through the voters' representatives. And, yet, it is the standard pose of the criminal law scholar to denigrate legislatures and politicians as vindictive, hysterical, or stupid. All of these things may be true but name-calling is a poor substitute for analysis. As in constitutional law, so too in criminal law, it is time to put ...


Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse Jan 2003

Reconceptualizing Criminal Law Defenses, Victoria Nourse

Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works

In 1933, one of the leading theorists of the criminal law, Jerome Michael, wrote openly of the criminal law "as an instrument of the state." Today, criminal law is largely allergic to claims of political theory; commentators obsess about theories of deterrence and retribution, and the technical details of model codes and sentencing grids, but rarely speak of institutional effects or political commitments. In this article, the author aims to change that emphasis and to examine the criminal law as a tool for governance. Her approach is explicitly constructive: it accepts the criminal law that we have, places it in ...