Avenging of Injuries. The Revival of Punishment as an Objective of War

  • Arseniy Kumankov
Keywords: Punishment, legalism, war, just war theory, Russia, Ukraine


In this essay, I question the modern meaning of punishment to justify the use of military force. First, I trace why and how the punitive doctrine of war appeared. Its authors and operators were Christian theologians who, for a long time, consolidated the punitive concept’s dominance. Punishment was aimed at interrupting and removing sin. This religious approach was revised in early Modern times against the backdrop of the modern state’s strengthening. Next, I consider the legalist approach to war relevant to this period. Its general approach was to recognize just war, which was a response to an offense. States used war as a means of protecting their rights. I note that this approach remains dominant today, but at the same time the idea of punishment is being restored. Finally, I give examples of how the concept of punishment and retribution, including those interpreted religiously, have been used during the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. These examples allow us to draw some conclusions about the limitations of the modern primitive concept of war.


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How to Cite
Kumankov, A. (2023). Avenging of Injuries. The Revival of Punishment as an Objective of War. Stasis, 11(1-2). Retrieved from https://stasisjournal.net/index.php/journal/article/view/242