Andrew R. Hom, Cian O’Driscoll, and Kurt Mills (editors), Moral Victories: The Ethics of Winning Wars (Oxford University Press, 2018).

What does it mean to win a moral victory? Ideals of just and decisive triumphs often colour the call to war, yet victory is an increasingly dubious proposition in modern conflict, where negotiated settlements and festering violence have replaced formal surrenders. In the Just War and strategic studies traditions, assumptions about victory also underpin decisions to go to war but become more problematic in discussions about its conduct and conclusion. So although winning is typically considered the very object of war, we lack a clear understanding of victory itself. Likewise, we lack reliable resources for discerning a just from an unjust victory, for balancing the duty to fight ethically with the obligation to win, and for assessing the significance of changing ways of war for moral judgment.

Though not amenable to easy answers, these important questions are both perennial and especially urgent. This book brings together a group of leading scholars from various disciplines to tackle them. It covers both traditions of victory – charting the historically variable notion of victory and the dialogues and fissures this opens in the just war and strategic canons – along with contemporary challenges of victory- analysing how new security contexts put pressure on these fissures and working toward clearer ideas about victory today. The result is a wide-ranging and timely collection of essays that bridges the gap between ethical, strategic, and historical approaches to war and develops new ways of thinking about it as a practical and moral proposition.

About the Editors
Andrew R. Hom, Lecturer in International Relations, University of Edinburgh, Cian O’Driscoll, Senior Lecturer in Politics, University of Glasgow,Kurt Mills, Professor of International Relations and Human Rights, University of Dundee

Andrew Hom is a Lecturer in International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. His research interests include victory in war, timing and temporality, security and International Relations theory, and philosophies of social science. Previously, he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in Politics at the University of Glasgow and taught at the University of St Andrews and Vanderbilt University. His work can be found in the forthcoming Routledge Handbook of Ethics and International Relations as well as International Studies Review, Security Dialogue, the Review of International Studies, Military Review, and edited volumes on time and global politics.

Cian O’Driscoll is a senior lecturer in Politics at the University of Glasgow. Cian’s research focuses primarily on the ethics of war and the just war tradition, and he has published widely in this area. Cian’s essays have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, Review of International Studies, Millennium, and International Studies Review. Cian is the co-convenor of the Glasgow Global Security Network.

Kurt Mills is Professor of International Relations and Human Rights at the University of Dundee. His work focuses on humanitarianism, humanitarian intervention, international criminal justice, and international organisations, with a particular interest in sub-Saharan Africa, and he has published widely in this area. His publications include International Responses to Mass Atrocities in Africa (University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015), and Human Rights Protection in Global Politics (co-edited with David Jason Karp, Palgrave, 2015). He is the founder of the human rights section of the International Studies Association (ISA), served as Vice President of ISA, and is currently Vice Chair of the Academic Council on the United Nations System.