War & Military Ethics

This International Ethics research theme encompasses justifications for war, just conduct in war, pacifism, conscientious objection, and ethical questions surrounding private military and security companies, new technologies of war, and intelligence collection. Key research projects are outlined below. 

The Canberra Working Group 
In this ongoing project, inspired by the Montreux Document, the Canberra Working group seeks to articulate guiding principles on the use of lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS). The group presented version 1.0 of the Guiding Principles for the Development and Use of LAWS in hard copy for comment at a meeting of the Group of Governmental Experts addressing the Regulation of Lethal Autonomous Weapons, at the Palais of Nations in Geneva. The group’s steering committee comprises Deane-Peter Baker, Erin Hahn, Peter Lee, and Ian MacLeod. 

Key Concepts in Military Ethics 
This is a book-length project comprising a series of mini-chapters on a huge range of topics and issues: moral dilemmas, military and civilian interactions, peacekeeping, terrorism, humanitarian intervention, and the military and the media. Edited by Deane-Peter Baker, the scenarios and the case studies in Key Concepts in Military Ethics range from contemporary conflicts to more conventional theatres of war through history. 

Revolutions and Insurrections 
In this book-length project, Ned Dobos critically interrogates the position that the legitimacy of revolution does not guarantee the legitimacy of intervention. In a comprehensive and systematic investigation into the philosophical and ethical dimensions of humanitarian intervention, Insurrection and Intervention pays a great deal of attention to the ‘internal legitimacy’ of the intervention in the context of the domestic obligations of the intervening states. It provides insights into whether it is possible for Western governments to maintain an ethically sound relationship with their constituents, without compromising their position as good global citizens. 

Military Ethics 
In this book-length project, Stephen Coleman introduces the ethical issues faced by present-day junior and mid-ranking military personnel. By including more than 50 case studies, Military Ethics provides readers a broader spectrum of real-world ethical dilemmas such as the use and the misuse of power and authority, discrimination and proportionality in traditional conflicts, irregular wars, humanitarian military interventions, supreme emergency, and terrorism.