© 2012

Selling a ‘Just’ War

Framing, Legitimacy, and US Military Intervention


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 1-17
  3. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 18-45
  4. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 46-70
  5. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 71-98
  6. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 99-140
  7. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 141-179
  8. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 180-210
  9. Michael J. Butler
    Pages 211-227
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 228-284

About this book


Butler sheds light on how American political leaders sell the decision to intervene with military force to the public and how a just war frame is employed in US foreign policy. He provides three post-Cold War examples of foreign policy crises: the Persian Gulf War (1990-91), Kosovo (1999), and Afghanistan (2001).


Cold War intervention Just War

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Clark UniversityUSA

About the authors

MICHAEL J. BUTLER Assistant Professor of Political Science at Clark University, USA. He is the author of International Conflict Management (2009).

Bibliographic information


'Michael Butler's book provides a fascinating look at the ways in which major U.S. military interventions since the end of the cold war have been framed as "just wars" for purposes of selling their legitimacy to domestic audiences. The in-depth examinations of the manner in which U.S. military interventions against Iraq, Serbia and Afghanistan were framed for domestic consumption are compelling and insightful.' - David Kinsella, Portland State University, USA

'With a truly novel and engaging analytical focus, Butler's impressive scholarly achievement foregrounds how US foreign policy elites have politicized Just War frames. With important theoretical insights and rock-solid case studies, this book will make an impact on the fields of IR theory, International Ethics, Foreign Policy Analysis and International Security.' Brent J. Steele, University of Kansas, USA

'Michael Butler shows for the first time how modern leaders utilise the Just War tradition and how these ancient ideas can enable - and sometimes inhibit - modern political action. Combining methodological rigour, a deep understanding of the ethical and political issues at stake and erudite reasoning, he takes the study of Just War thinking to a new level by showing how it operates in practice.' - Alex J. Bellamy, Griffith Asia Institute, Australia