The militaristic thought. About the ‘just wars’

Book presentation

The historian Fernando Hernández Holgado will present his new book, a proposal to trace the various arguments of the “just war” used in the West throughout the last centuries, on May 16 at 6,30 pm at La Model Memory Site in Barcelona. The talk kicks off the cycle of activities “Resonances – Art and dialogue for democratic memory“, and will count with the participation of Martí Olivella i Solé, a promoter of social innovation and the nonviolent struggle movement, co-founder and director of Novact.

Organized by Los Libros de La Catarata and the EUROM, the event counts the support of the Institute of Culture of the City Council of Barcelona and with the collaboration with the Council of Feminisms, Equality and Democratic Memory.

The militaristic thought. About ‘just wars‘ (Catarata, 2024)

Militarism has historically invoked the concept of “just war” to legitimize and reinforce war conflicts. The war in Ukraine or the latest Israeli offensive against Gaza are its most recent milestones, although, and for at least two decades, conflicts such as those in Yemen, South Sudan, Syria, Libya, Iraq or Palestine itself have not made rather than confirming the contemporary context of “permanent war” or “global civil war.” Militarist thinking has legitimized wars for a “just cause” based on absolute moral dilemmas, in an attempt to overlap “what is just” and “what is reasonable.” But can there be “just wars”? What does war have to do with justice or reason?

In the face of rising militarism, this book sets out to trace the various “just war” arguments put forward in the West over the last few centuries. Behind the pretexts and moral alibis of all armed action, what is discovered is a warrior tradition closely linked to colonial and patriarchal practices, in the historical framework of the birth and consolidation of modern nation states. A reinforced NATO as a “military shield of the West” that, at the time, knew how to survive the end of the Cold War thanks to the discourse of “humanitarian interventionism” does not escape this gaze. As a counterweight, this work evokes, in short, a very different tradition: the genealogy of all those critical voices, with a call to war and violence.

Related activities

Cycle Ressonances

February-May: Stage Creation Laboratory


May 16, 2024


La Model. Memory site
c/ d’Entença, 155

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