War and the problem of personal responsibility
In this article, the author addresses the question whether individual citizens are responsible for the aggressive policy of their national leader by comparing the views of Hannah Arendt, Michael Walzer and Jeff McMahan on the problem of personal responsibility. The author agrees with Arendt and McMahan that responsibility presupposes thinking. Taking into account a number of arguments, the author claims that responsibility should be interpreted as a collective duty. Guilt, however, is found at the individual level. A person may be guilty for his own decisions and be responsible for the decisions of the government, but he could not be condemned for the crimes of the latter. In conclusion, the author claims that this idea applies at the international level as well, because states are collectively responsible for maintaining justice and peace in the world.
war; responsibility; Walzer; Arendt; McMahan; war crime
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