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Emancipation, Humanity, and Peace: A Response

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Part of the Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law book series (YIHL)


This chapter responds to commentaries on the author’s recent book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War. The coverage includes whether the international laws of war were substantially humanized in principle or in practice before recently, how to revisit and rehabilitate the peace movements of the nineteenth century (and after), and what moral criterion furnishes the evaluative standard for the progress of the humanization of war today.


  • Emancipation
  • Humanity
  • Peace
  • International humanitarian law
  • International law

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  1. 1.

    Moyn 2021; Chap. 5 by Jones and Shah in this Volume; Chap. 6 by Lustig in this Volume.

  2. 2.

    Meron 2000.

  3. 3.

    See Chap. 6 by Lustig in this Volume.

  4. 4.

    Benvenisti and Lustig 2020.

  5. 5.

    Like others, I eagerly await Kempf forthcoming to learn more.

  6. 6.

    Moyn 2021, pp. 97–103.

  7. 7.

    Ibid., p. 31.

  8. 8.

    Jones 2021.

  9. 9.

    Koskenniemi 2003.

  10. 10.

    See Chap. 6 by Lustig in this Volume.

  11. 11.

    Chen 2022.

  12. 12.

    Knaap forthcoming.

  13. 13.

    I intended both of these points as correctives to my colleagues, who begin their account of antiwar internationalism in 1918 and scant grassroots mobilization in making it possible before and since that date. See Hathaway and Shapiro 2017.

  14. 14.

    See also Moyn 2020a.

  15. 15.

    See Chap. 5 by Jones and Shah in this Volume.

  16. 16.

    Alexander forthcoming, p. 13.

  17. 17.


  18. 18.

    Consider, in this connection, the much-noted declaration of Martin Kimani, the Kenyan ambassador to the United Nations at the start of the current Ukraine crisis, who argued that postcolonial states are best-positioned to call on moral grounds for territorial revision in the international system—but have learned that war in its name ought to be repudiated because it essentially never advances justice.

  19. 19.

    See, e.g., Moyn 2008, rpt. as Moyn 2014, Chapter 2, or Moyn 2020b.


Articles, Books and Other Sources

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Moyn, S. (2023). Emancipation, Humanity, and Peace: A Response. In: Krieger, H., Kalmanovitz, P., Lieblich, E., Mignot-Mahdavi, R. (eds) Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law, Volume 24 (2021). Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law. T.M.C. Asser Press, The Hague.

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