Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1013–1014 | Cite as

Deane-Peter Baker: Citizen Killings; Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk

London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Paperback (ISBN 9781472575456). US$26.95. 156 + ix pp
  • Kevin LacourseEmail author
  • Peter Stone

On 25 May 2018, the Republic of Ireland voted overwhelmingly via referendum to repeal its constitutional ban on abortion. To most observers, this result represented a clear move towards a more liberal and secular society. But this is not how Deane-Peter Baker understands the situation. According to Baker’s new book, Citizen Killings: Liberalism, State Policy and Moral Risk, the end of Ireland’s constitutional ban on abortion is a profoundly illiberal move, a clear betrayal of liberal principles. Indeed, it is a betrayal so great that other liberal states could, if the circumstances were right, be justified in invading Ireland in order to reinstate the ban. That conclusion may sound crazy, but it is indeed the conclusion endorsed by Citizen Killings. This is a book that starts from allegedly liberal principles and then derives conclusions from them you would never imagine.

Citizen Killingsoffers “a comprehensive account of the ethics of state-sanctioned (that is, legally permitted)...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political Science DepartmentTrinity CollegeDublin 2Ireland

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