chapter  8
14 Pages

Restraint in bello

Some thoughts on reciprocity and humanity
WithAnna Evangelidi

Conceptualizing war as a reciprocal armed interaction where warring sides are exposed to mutual danger is important for our understanding of restraint in bello. As restraint has long been a matter of mutually beneficial reciprocity, the essay looks at how, and the extent to which, reciprocity creates common ground between the adversaries for mutually restrained violence. The essay goes on to suggest that restraint should not lose sight of humanity – understood here as the need for respect for the enemy as human – which can (and should) serve as the motivating force for restraint even when the expectation of reciprocal commitment to restraint is frustrated. Against this background, the chapter questions the possibility of restraint in the model of armed violence introduced by unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or drones, which moves away from the paradigm of warfare as a reciprocal armed interaction.