Thursday, December 18, 2014

Review of Frowe and Lang's new book How We Fight

Very nice review of Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang's new book How We Fight: Ethics in war. The book as a whole sounds interesting if you are into the kind of stuff discussed, which I am.

However, the reviewer makes some very important points at the end of his review which I think are worth repeating and adding to. The reviewer points out the conservative nature of the anthology and the fact that this is a problem. By this he means that the questions that are dealt with in the book are standard old questions of just war theory (JWT) and the methodology is that of technical analytic philosophy. I agree. More importantly, as the reviewer points out, good just war theory is able to guide policy makers and perhaps even soldiers make real decisions about real issues.

On that note, I'd also like to point out that although the cast of authors consists mostly of outstanding scholars, there is only one (best I can tell) of the lot who is a veteran of a military or a policy maker. Perhaps such collections would look different if they included and took into account more of such people. There are certainly no lack of scholars who have experience in militaries and with shaping military policy. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Workshop on Analytic Just War Theory

From an email: 
Workshop on Analytic Just War Theory
Jindal Global University, New Delhi
09.30 – 17.00, 28 Feb 2015

The past decade has seen a surge of interest in the ethics of war amongst political, moral, and legal analytic philosophers. This is due in no small part to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the related issues of terrorism and drone use, and the number of recent civil conflicts in which it seems third parties might be permitted or required to intervene. There is a considerable amount of scholarship being undertaken in India that addresses some of these issues from a legal perspective. But there is surprisingly little work being done on the ethics of war per se, outside of some key historical, religious, and interpretive theological debates. Indeed, at present, there is virtually no philosophical work being done on the ethics of war in the analytic tradition—even in terms of how these may relate to the laws of war that India has claimed to adhere to ever since its independence. 

This workshop is a pilot event that is intended to be part of a larger project engaging with Indian researchers who are interested in participating in the very active debate currently going on in analytic just war theory, and developing international collaborative links with those researchers. The workshop will be led by Helen Frowe (Director, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace) and Fran├žois Tanguay-Renaud (Director, Jack and Mae Nathanson Centre). Key texts in contemporary just war theory will be assigned and form the basis of our discussion. Participants will be asked to prepare a brief comment or reaction piece, which they will be invited to present on the day. Attendance is free, but participants must register in advance by emailing More information can be found herePlease note that lunch will be served, and that the workshop will be followed by a dinner.