Volume 144, June/July 2021
Modern Moral Problems
Is Election Meddling an Act of War?
In response to foreign interference in elections, warlike language is understandable. As a hostile violation of sovereignty, election meddling fits one technical description of an invasion. However, just war theory, the most influential source of objective guidance for the ethical prosecution of wars, and the philosophical heart of international law concerning war, offers a sobering rejoinder. The theory suggests that, while election meddling is in fact a belligerent act, no actual use of military force could ever be ethically justified as a response.