Skip to content

Your Cart


You have 0 items in your cart.

Register Sign in Wishlist
Soft War

Soft War
The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict

$34.99 (G)

Michael L. Gross, Tamar Meisels, Jessica Wolfendale, Valerie Morkevičius, Joy Gordon, Cécile Fabre, George R. Lucas, Jr, Laurie R. Blank, Sebastian Kaempf, Janina Dill, James Pattison, Christopher J. Finlay, Cheney Ryan, Ariel Colonomos
View all contributors
  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107584785

$ 34.99 (G)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an examination copy?

If you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Just war theory focuses primarily on bodily harm, such as killing, maiming, and torture, while other harms are often largely overlooked. At the same time, contemporary international conflicts increasingly involve the use of unarmed tactics, employing 'softer' alternatives or supplements to kinetic power that have not been sufficiently addressed by the ethics of war or international law. Soft war tactics include cyber-warfare and economic sanctions, media warfare, and propaganda, as well as non-violent resistance as it plays out in civil disobedience, boycotts, and 'lawfare.' While the just war tradition has much to say about 'hard' war - bullets, bombs, and bayonets - it is virtually silent on the subject of 'soft' war. Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict illuminates this neglected aspect of international conflict.

    • Provides new ethical and legal analysis of a crucial aspect of international conflict by the best minds in the field
    • Offers several sides to the emerging debate on these topics, featuring paired essays on economic media, information, cyber, economic and non-violent warfare
    • An accessible, highly topical study for scholars and students of political science, political and moral philosophy, law, sociology, and international relations
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'For many years, philosophers and military ethicists have focused on the rights and wrongs of physical violence - understandably so. But war can take subtler forms. Economic sanctions, cyber warfare, propaganda, and ‘psyops’ can have dangerous and devastating effects; nonviolence can sometimes prevail over armed might. This superb collection is a pioneering effort to analyze the ethics of ‘soft war.’ The authors include some of the leading theorists of just war, and their essays shed welcome light at a time when we need it. It’s a must-read for anyone interested in today’s conflicts - philosophers, security specialists, military ethicists, and concerned citizens.' David Luban, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

    'Combining fresh ethical thinking about the morality of armed conflict with cutting edge cases drawing on the very latest challenges to the field, this innovative new book pushes beyond established boundaries and presents us with new ways of thinking about the ethics of conflict. Covering a range of issues not hitherto evaluated from a moral perspective - including economic warfare, cyber-warfare and nonviolence, this is an important new volume that not only charts new ground but sets out a new agenda for the future. It is a must-read for anyone interested in the ethical dimensions of world politics.' Alexander Bellamy, Director of the Asia Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, University of Queensland, Australia

    ‘This work goes an impressive distance towards addressing the complex web of ethical and legal questions raised by the techniques of soft war …' Claire Finkelstein, International Affairs

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107584785
    • length: 282 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 151 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.42kg
    • contains: 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Michael L. Gross and Tamar Meisels
    Part I. Definitions and Meta Views:
    1. Defining war Jessica Wolfendale
    2. Coercion, manipulation, and harm: civilian immunity and soft war Valerie Morkevičius
    Part II. Economic Warfare:
    3. Reconsidering economic sanctions Joy Gordon
    4. Conditional sale Cécile Fabre
    Part III. Cyber Warfare, Media Warfare, and Lawfare:
    5. State-sponsored hacktivism and the rise of 'soft' war George R. Lucas, Jr
    6. Media warfare, propaganda, and the law of war Laurie R. Blank
    7. The ethics of soft war on today's mediatized battlespaces Sebastian Kaempf
    8. Abuse of law on the 21st-century battlefield: a typology of lawfare Janina Dill
    Part IV. Nonviolence:
    9. Unarmed bodyguards to the rescue? The ethics of non-violent intervention James Pattison
    10. How subversive are human rights? Civil subversion and the ethics of unarmed resistance Christopher J. Finlay
    11. Bearers of hope on the paradox of non-violent action Cheney Ryan
    Part V. Hostage Taking and Prisoners:
    12. A cooperative globalist approach to the hostage dilemma Ariel Colonomos
    13. Kidnapping and extortion as tactics of soft war Tamar Meisels
    14. Conclusions: proportionate self defense in unarmed conflict Michael L. Gross.

  • Editors

    Michael L. Gross, University of Haifa, Israel
    Michael L. Gross is Professor in and Head of the School of Political Science at the University of Haifa, Israel. He specializes in applied normative theory, military and medical ethics, asymmetric war, and non-kinetic warfare. He is the author of Ethics and Activism (Cambridge, 1997), Bioethics and Armed Conflict (2006), Moral Dilemmas of Modern War (Cambridge, 2010), Military Medical Ethics for the 21st Century (with Don Carrick, 2013,) and The Ethics of Insurgency (Cambridge, 2015). He has lectured widely on battlefield and military medical ethics at defense centers in Israel, the US and Europe.

    Tamar Meisels, Tel-Aviv University
    Tamar Meisels is a political theorist and Associate Professor in the Political Science Department at Tel Aviv University. She earned her D.Phil. in Politics from the University of Oxford in 2001. Her primary research and teaching interests include liberal nationalism, territorial rights, and the philosophical questions surrounding war and terrorism. She is the author of Territorial Rights (2005, 2009) and The Trouble with Terror: Liberty, Security, and the Response to Terrorism (Cambridge, 2008).


    Michael Walzer


    Michael L. Gross, Tamar Meisels, Jessica Wolfendale, Valerie Morkevičius, Joy Gordon, Cécile Fabre, George R. Lucas, Jr, Laurie R. Blank, Sebastian Kaempf, Janina Dill, James Pattison, Christopher J. Finlay, Cheney Ryan, Ariel Colonomos

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account


Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.