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Boris Kashnikov

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National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow



The author in this paper presents the dilemmas over the meaning of victory in contemporary wars, arguing that wars such as “war on terror”, “humanitarian intervention” and especially a “just war” seem to be unwinnable. In the first part of the paper the author presents the normative meaning of the term “victory” which goes beyond the military success in a war, encompassing also virtuous motives, efforts and goals. In the second chapter the author considers the transformation of the contemporary war as a form of transformation of political sovereignty. The decline of victory, which is a subject of the third chapter, is in close relation with the transformation of contemporary war due to the emergence of unwinnable wars. Finally, in the fourth chapter, the author is setting the relation between the meaning of victory and the so called “just war theory”, and concluding that it is not possible to win the “just war”.