Monday, June 30, 2014

If you are Australian and want to do a PhD in military ethics:

PhD Scholarship in Military Ethics at the University of New South Wales

UNSW Canberra - located at the Australian Defence Force Academy - is offering a 3-year PhD Scholarship for a project on 'What Motivates Enlistment, and Why it Matters'.

Traditionally the military has been thought of as an institution, not unlike the Church, whose members answer a "higher calling" to sacrifice their interests, ambitions, and if need be their lives for the sake of a greater good. But according to some historians and sociologists the military now resembles an occupation, governed by market principles, where workers exchange their labour for material reward. Careerism, a fixation on building a resume for post-military employment, and an ever greater reliance on extrinsic motivational incentives are the hallmarks of what George Moskos calls the "occupational shift" in the modern military. What are the ethical implications of the occupational shift? If soldiers are employees, do familiar employee rights and labour standards apply to them? Does the occupational shift threaten to obliterate the moral distinction between national armed forces personnel and mercenaries? Are "employee warriors" more or less likely to conduct themselve!
 s in accordance with the principles of Just War Theory?  UNSW Canberra is offering a PhD Scholarship to a suitably qualified candidate interested in pursuing these and related questions.

The successful applicant, subject to admission to the PhD degree program, will be awarded a UNSW Canberra Research Training Scholarship with an annual tax-free stipend of $26,392 (2014 rate). This scholarship is for a period of 3 years, subject to satisfactory progress reviews. Applicants should hold a Masters degree or undergraduate qualification with first class honours. Please note that this scholarship is open only to Australian citizens.

For further information please contact:

Ned Dobos


Phone: +61 2 6268 6273

PO Box 7916, CANBERRA BC 2610, Australia

CRICOS Provider no. 00100G

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Reminder about ISME Conference submission

. . . I have two things I'd love to submit to this myself, but alas, I do not have time to write up papers or abstracts. It is a great conference. I presented something there a couple of years ago.

A reminder that the deadline for submissions for the 2014 ISME meeting 

The Ethical Dimensions of Civil War
ISME 2014
Conference Announcement and Call for Papers
October 12-15, 2014
International Society for Military Ethics

The International Society for Military Ethics is pleased to announce the theme for this year’s annual conference: The Ethical Dimensions of Civil War.’’  
Keynote Address: “A Moral Analysis of the US Civil War,” Kit Wellman, Washington University.
The conference will take place Sunday to Wednesday, October 12-15 at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. 
150 years ago, the United States was engaged in a “great civil war.”  In observance of that fact, and in the light of numerous more recent events, ISME is pleased to accept papers on all aspects of the ethics of civil war for this year’s conference.  Papers from both historical and contemporary perspectives and dealing with both historical and contemporary issues will be considered. 
Questions to consider might include:
-          Under what conditions, and using what means, may one political entity morally separate itself from another?
-          Under what conditions, and using what means, may one political entity resist such a separation?
-          Under what conditions, and using what means, may a third political entity intervene in such a conflict?
-          What legal/moral regime ought to apply to individuals who might simultaneously be considered enemy combatants and fellow citizens?

Submissions should be sent to no later than 30 June, 2014.  Abstracts are acceptable, although full papers are preferred; but please limit submissions to no more than 7,000 words.  As always, we accept high quality submissions in any area of military ethics.
Don Howard, DirectorReilly Center for Science,Technology, and Values453 Geddes HallUniversity of Notre DameNotre Dame, Indiana
FB: NDReillyCenterScience Matters Blog
574-631-1147 (Office)574-631-5015 (Program)574-631-7418 (Fax)
Professor of PhilosophyDepartment of Philosophy100 Malloy Hall574-631-7547 (Office)574-631-6471/7534 (Dept.)574-631-0588 (Fax)----------------------------------

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Monday, June 2, 2014

jus in bello and jus ad bellum

Does Neve Gordon confuse jus in bello with jus ad bellum? When told, as a reservist, to talk about human rights to soldiers, Neve Gordon was handed the following scenario (from today's CHE):

soldiers were seen evacuating Palestinian residents from a house in the West Bank minutes before bulldozers demolished it. The plot focused on a soldier who took a knife from the house during the evacuation. The soldiers were then asked: Was it all right to take something from the house, since the structure would be destroyed within minutes? As one soldier put it, the knife would be useless after the demolition anyway, so why not take it? Following a discussion highlighting several perspectives, the film concluded that pocketing the knife, despite the extenuating circumstances, was an act of looting and consequently forbidden.
The film focused on the ethics of taking the knife, but it ignored larger questions—not least the morality of demolishing Palestinian homes. The recent articles about Ariel University do the same. They pass over the wider context and therefore end up obfuscating the central ethical questions at stake.
But the morality of demolishing homes is not a question for soldiers. The army's goal is not to make every private a strategist, with the freedom to decide whether or not and how to obey orders, but rather to make them soldiers who do not violate the ethical codes within the parameters of their responsibilities. Any army would be ill advised to train every one of their soldiers to think about the morality of war in general. That misses the point of their job, just like Gordon seems to.

Should a soldier come into the military with a preconceived version of what wars, if any are just, that is a different matter. But is that a military's responsibility?

What do you think? Did I miss something or did he?