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Responding Morally to Terrorism
AdvisorSchweitzer, Katharine J.
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Terrorism poses intellectual challenges for just war theory. In my thesis, I argue that states who have experienced a terrorist attack should not declare war immediately because a moral state response should be proportionate to the severity of the attack. I offer a terrorism response scale that states should consult if they wish to respond to the attack morally. The scale has five levels of proportionate response to different levels of terrorist attacks. It takes into consideration the death toll of the attack, how much damage was done, how much fear it caused, and also the strength of the group and how likely it is the group will or can attack again. This argument fills a gap in the existing philosophical scholarship and offers a theory of moral state response to terrorism that is different from just war theory.