Techniques for Regulating Military Force
Forthcoming In: The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Foreign Relations Law (Curtis Bradley, Ed.)
18 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2018
Date Written: September 26, 2018
This book chapter identifies and analyzes some of the techniques that states use to regulate their war powers, and then reflects on the value of comparative research in this area. Three basic techniques are: (1) to establish substantive standards on when the government may or may not use force, (2) to divide among different branches of government the authority to deploy the country’s armed forces, and (3) to subject such decisions to oversight or review. There is considerable variation, both across countries and over time within particular countries, in how and with what effect each technique is used. Given this variation, comparative war powers research is likely to be of limited relevance to national officials who make use of force decisions or to analysts who seek to explain them. Instead, the principal benefit of such research might be to bring into stark relief a country’s own national ethos — to shed light on how it defines itself and conceives of its relationship with the rest of the world.
Keywords: United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, France, war powers regulation, use of force, jus ad bellum, comparative analysis, ethical legal reasoning
JEL Classification: K3
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation