Thursday, November 19, 2015

Call for Papers - military medical ethics

CfP: Military Medical Ethics and Hybrid Warfare
ICMM Lilienberg Workshop 2016

For the sixth time, the ICMM Reference Centre for Education on IHL and Ethics together with the Medical Services Directorate of the Swiss Armed Forces and the Center for Military Medical Ethics at Zurich University organise their annual joint workshop at the shore of the Lake Constance.

Focus in 2016: Military Medical Ethics and Hybrid Warfare
19-21 May 2016 at Forum Lilienberg in Ermatingen (CH).

The main topic of the 2016 workshop will be Military Medical Ethics and Hybrid Warfare. Much has been discussed about new forms of warfare and recent developments have proven that realities can change very fast. There has been much less discussion, however, on the implications of these new forms of warfare for the medical services. Our workshop wants to fill this gap and discuss ethical challenges for military and civil health care services that emerge out of new forms of deployment and conflict scenarios.

We invite papers/presentations on topics addressing ethical questions faced by medical services in the context of so-called hybrid warfare. We equally encourage reports from the field (e.g. case studies) as well as philosophic papers or legal analyses.

Presentations are expected to last 25 minutes in order to leave enough time for discussion. The presentations will be edited in a comprehensive book on MME in Hybrid Warfare (see section Conference Proceedings in the full CfP (PDF)).

Full CfP with instructions:
CfP online:
General Information:

Kind regards
Daniel Messelken

Dr. phil. Daniel Messelken
Center for Military Medical Ethics
Zollikerstr. 117, CH 8008 Zürich

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Interesting post on drone warfare

Clearly there is much that Marianne Talbot is not aware of in the drone warfare discussions. The recent conference put on by the US Naval Postgraduate seminar might be a good place to look for people who are studying this issue deeply. However, her recent post about a weekend conference she held is interesting nonetheless. 

Friday, October 2, 2015

Call for Papers

This item may interest some readers of this blog:

Theme: Just War Theory in an African Context
Type: International Workshop
Institution: University of Johannesburg
Location: Johannesburg, Gauteng (South Africa)
Date: 4.–5.4.2016
Deadline: 30.11.2015

Just War Theory originated largely in a Christian and European
context. What might it look like through the lens of
characteristically sub-Saharan African values and norms?

Answering this overarching question might involve addressing these:
Given a sub-Saharan ethical background, of, say, welfarism, vitalism
or communitarianism, would something akin to Just War Theory be
justified, or would something more pacifist (or realist) be apt? If
something akin to Just War Theory is on the cards, would the idea of
just cause be reducible to rebutting aggression? Regardless of that,
how would aggression be conceived? How might the good and bad central
to the proportionality test be plausibly understood? Might the
partiality salient in sub-Saharan ethical thought sensibly influence
what counts as proportionate? Would substantial weight be placed on
the need for a right intention? Would authorization from the United
Nations or some other collective body be considered essential in
light of, say, the emphasis African political philosophy has often
placed on democratic deliberation when it comes to conflict

Prof Thaddeus Metz will be convening a one- or two-day workshop at
the University of Johannesburg devoted to these and related questions
(4-5 April 2016). If you are interested in participating, please send
a brief (100 – 300 word) abstract to by 30 November
2015. Workshop proceedings will aim to be published as a special
issue of a journal.

Some funding will be available to mitigate the cost of traveling to
Johannesburg, particularly for those based in developing countries.

(NB: Empirical discussion of particular wars and military conflicts
in Africa is welcome, but only so long as it is done to make a
theoretical or philosophical point.)


Prof Thaddeus Metz
Philosophy Department
University of Johannesburg
B-Ring 6, Cnr Kingsway & University Road
Auckland Park, 2006
South Africa

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Workshop: Frowe's Defensive Killing and Lazar's Sparing Civilians, NYC 29 - 30 Sept

Call for Registration: Workshop on Helen Frowe’s Defensive Killing (Oxford: OUP, 2014) and Seth Lazar’s Sparing Civilians (Oxford: OUP, in press).

Carnegie Council for Ethics and International Affairs
170 East 64th Street, New York
29 - 30 September, 2015

Jeff McMahan (Oxford)
Adil Haque (Rutgers)
Cheyney Ryan (Oregon and Oxford)
Massimo Renzo (King's College London)
Kimberly Ferzan (Virginia)
Christian Barry (ANU)
Yitzhak Benbaji (Tel Aviv)
Victor Tadros (Warwick)

The workshop is sponsored by the Australian Research Council, the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, and the Society for Applied Philosophy. The workshop is free to attend (including lunch and refreshments), but places are limited. Participants are expected to read both books in advance (pdfs will be made available to those who register). Please email to reserve a place.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

New Ethics and War blog

The Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace has launched a new blog that you may be interested in reading.

The Ethical War Blog will publish short and timely opinion articles on war-related topics in the news, written by specialists in the field, in an accessible and digestible format.

The blog launches with five articles, with new content to be added continuously:
  • Prof. James Pattison asks whether arming rebels in conflicts such as Syria is preferable to military intervention. [LINK]
  • Prof. Adil Ahmed Haque discusses ISIS, cultural destruction, and international law. [LINK]
  • Prof. Yitzhak Benbaji and Prof. Alexander Yakobsen assess the morality of Hamas’ tactics during Operation Protective Edge [LINK]
  • Dr. Jonathan Peterson asks whether defending cultural objects can justify waging war against ISIS. [LINK]
  • Prof. David Rodin discusses the conflict between the right to free speech and the duty to avoid causing harm in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. [LINK]
For more information about the blog (including if you would be interested in contributing), please get in touch with Jonathan Parry at And do please circulate this to anyone you think may be interested.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Call for Chapters: Force Short of War

Call for Chapters

- - - Please distribute widely - - -

Force Short of War: A Multidisciplinary Normative Approach

Jai Galliott (University of New South Wales, Kensington)

& Daniel Brunstetter (University of California, Irvine)

The use of force short of war is now commonplace, in large part owing to casualty aversiveness and the explosion of emerging technologies. It usually involves the selective or limited use of military force by a state to achieve political objectives and assumes many forms. These include targeted killing, assassination, setting up no-fly zones, special-forces raids, very limited duration bombing campaigns or missile strikes, and ‘low intensity’ counterrorism and counterinsurgency operations. However, ‘force short of war’ also encompasses the provision of military support for regime stabilization or regime change through support of secessionist/independence movements. This multi-disciplinary volume asks a number of questions about the moral, legal and political status of such operations, the strategic situations in which such force is best used, and whether existing rules and regulations are sufficiently robust to deal with the moral challenges the use of limited force entails.

We welcome high quality abstracts from philosophers, lawyers, political/international relations theorists, strategists and other concerned researchers on any topic from the following (non-exhaustive) list:

- the difference between war and force short of war (and/or limited force)

- the role of traditional just war theory in modern conflict

- the need for a new third tenet: jus ad vim

- the limits of force short of war

- IHL and force short of war

- legitimate authority/authorisation of force short of war

- Low intensity conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere

- targeted killing and assassination

- regime change

- secession

- drones

- links to the invasion of sovereignty

- autonomous systems

- cyber warfare

- the politics of force short of war

- the history of conflicts short of war

- counterinsurgency (guerilla) operations

- counterterrorism operations

- military/police dichotomy in conflict

- the ethics of arming rebels

- limited force and the responsibility to protect (R2P)

- the role of sanctions

- providing limited military force to help other governments fighting civil wars

- force short of war and the connection to peace

Abstracts should be 200 words in length, clearly convey the core argument of the proposed chapter and show a strong thematic connection. All abstracts should be accompanied by a biosketch of up to 150 words, detailing one's qualifications and research interests. Full papers are expected to be 7,000-8,000 words. We have interest from a ‘Category A’ university publisher and confirmed options with a ‘Category B’ press (A-E scale).

All submissions and questions should be directed to:

Deadline for submissions: 1 June 2015

Notification of acceptance: 1 July 2015

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Cécile Fabre on military ethics

Cécile Fabre has an interesting article on military ethics in the journal Ethics. She argues that we ought to separate the ethical issues involved in starting a war from the ethical issues involved in ending it. That sounds right to me. The article is also fairly thorough. You can comment on it at PEA Soup where you can also find a critical introduction by Helen Frowe. 

Sunday, May 3, 2015

War and Peace in Political Thought - graduate conference, Budapest

From an email: 

Central European University (CEU), Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE) and the Pázmány Péter Catholic University (PPKE) jointly organize the First Istvan Hont Graduate Conference in Political Thought. The conference commemorates the legacy of Istvan Hont (1947-2013), influential Hungarian-born lecturer and writer on the history of political thought, Fellow of King's College at the University of Cambridge.
The conference is part of a larger framework of cooperation between the three host universities and aims to bring together doctoral students interested in political thought from various disciplines. The conference is devoted to the topic of ‘War and Peace’ in history, philosophy and political thought. Keynote speakers will include:
Catherine Zuckert (Nancy Reeves Dreux Professor of Political Science, University of Notre Dame)
The conference organizers invite doctoral students to submit their proposals which discuss issues of war and peace. Submissions are welcome from students of various disciplines such as intellectual history, philosophy, political science, or international relations.
The conference aims to investigate some of the following questions: How to define war and what were the past attempts to define it? Who is to wage wars, in what manner, for what reasons and are these questions relevant? Is peace only a lack of war? Will the next World War be indeed fought with sticks and stones? How is and was the theme of war and peace pictured in public discourses and in individual reflections? Topics based on these questions may include, but are not limited to the following areas:
  • Theories of War: just war, realism, right of self-defense, militarism, intervention, religion and war, modernity and total war
  • Theories of Peace: pacifism, non-violent struggle, limits of toleration, religious and secular peace movements
  • The "next war": the “last war”, hyperreal war, cyber war, hybrid warfare, drones, crisis theory
  • Discourses about war and peace: intellectuals and war, myths of wars, Cold War narratives, propaganda

The language of the conference is English.

Date: September 17-19, 2015
Venue: TBA (The event is going to take place at one of the organizing universities.)

Please submit your proposal of 300-400 words to together with your name and affiliation. The deadline for submitting proposals is May 31, 2015.
Some support for accommodation or travel expenses will be provided for participants who have no access to institutional funding for academic travel.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Nancy Sherman . . .

. . . the military ethicist, has a new book out and an Op-Ed in the LA times (see the responses too). 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Workshop on Lethal Agency

Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace 
Tuesday 12th May, 2015
Långholmen Hotel, Stockholm

Matthew Hanser (UC Santa Barbara) 'Trying, Risking and Wronging’
Adil Ahmad Haque (Rutgers) 'Human Shields’
Victor Tadros (Warwick) 'Causal Contributions and Liability'
Patrick Tomlin (Reading) 'Proportionality and Probability'

This small workshop will focus on philosophical issues surrounding lethal agency. Papers will be pre-circulation only, and should be read in advance. Attendance is free, but places are limited. Please email Jonathan Parry ( to register. 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Call for Papers: The Future of Just War


The Future of Just War: Theoretical and Practical Challenges

Dates: October 7 – 9, 2015

Location: Naval Postgraduate School; Monterey, California

Deadline for submissions: May 15th, 2015
Notification of acceptance: June 15th, 2015

Any paper on any topic related to the ethics of war, just war theory, the moral implications for the future of warfare, or related issues will be considered. However, some preference will be given to papers that consider the ethical implications of new, emerging, and future military technology and the resulting changing nature of warfare. The conference organizers are specifically hoping for strong ethics papers on cyberwarfare and unmanned and robotic weapons systems. We also hope to have an interdisciplinary event and welcome submissions from a range of fields including, but not limited to: philosophy, law, public policy, political science, or related fields. Submissions from active scientists, researchers, or practitioners are also welcome, particularly insofar as those presentations could complement the ethics theme of the conference.

To submit a paper for consideration, please submit an extended abstract of 500 to 800 words. Full papers will also be considered. All submissions will be peer-reviewed.

Submit extended abstracts or full papers to as .doc, .docx, or .pdf. Please put "Conference Submission" in the subject line of the email.

The conference is hosted by the Defense Analysis Department at the Naval Postgraduate School with generous support from the Consortium for Robotics and Unmanned Systems Education and Research, and in collaboration with the Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace and the National Science Foundation.

Three graduate student stipends of $750 each will be offered to the best papers submitted by graduate students.

Organizing Committee: Bradley J. Strawser (chair), Fritz Allhoff, Helen Frowe, Rebecca Lorentz, and Amelia Simunek. Send any questions to

Keynote Speakers:

Jeff McMahan, University of Oxford
Adil Haque, Rutgers School of Law
Helen Frowe, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace

Confirmed Speakers:

Saba Bazargan, UC San Diego
Leo Blanken, Naval Postgraduate School
Wilson Brissett, United States Air Force Academy
Susanne Burri, University of St. Gallen
Janina Dill, University of Oxford
Ian Fishback, United States Military Academy
Seth Lazar, The Australian National University
Camber Warren, Naval Postgraduate School

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

McMahan lecture tomorrow at LSE

We are delighted to announce this year's Auguste Comte Memorial Lecture by Professor Jeff McMahan (Oxford)

Wednesday 11 March, 6:30-8 pm.
Liability, Proportionality and the Number of Aggressors
Venue: Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House
All are welcome; no tickets required.

Jeff McMahan is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Oxford and the author of The Ethics of Killing: problems at the margins of life and Killing in War.
Further info on:

With best wishes,
Alex Voorhoeve

Want to do a PhD in Military ethics in Australia?

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, Morally and Politically”.

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 incentives are the hallmarks of what George Moskos calls the
“occupational shift” in the modern military.

What are the ethical and political implications of the occupational shift?
If soldiers are employees, should 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
themselves in accordance with the principles of Just War Theory? Are they
more or less likely to show organizational commitment and loyalty? 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 UNSW Canberra PhD
program, will be awarded a Research Training Scholarship with an annual
tax-free stipend of AUD$26,392. This scholarship is for a period of 3 years,
subject to satisfactory progress reviews along the way. Applicants should
hold a Masters degree or an undergraduate qualification with first class
honours, preferably in ethics/philosophy, politics, or a cognate discipline.

For further information please contact:

Ned Dobos
Phone: +61 2 6268 6273

Military ethics conference at West Point

Details here

Conference in Cambridge

War & Strife in Ancient Philosophy (being the fifth meeting 2015 Graduate Conference in Ancient

Faculty of Classics, University of Cambridge, 27th-28th March 2015.

Keynote Talks:

Lesley Brown (Oxford) ‘Philosophy as warfare? Plato’s Gigantomachia and other battles’

Angie Hobbs (Sheffield) 'The End of War? Heraclitus' Challenge and Plato's Response.'

Graduate Talks:

Jordan Corwin (University of Notre Dame) 'Strife and Justice from Hesiod to Parmenides'

Vincent Peluce (Central European University) 'Logos, Strife and Opposites in Heraclitus' Fragments'

Silvio Marino (University of Naples Federico II) 'Anomalia and Anomoiotes: Strife as Logical Principle
in Plato and Hippocratic Authors'

Pierre Ponchon (University of Tours) 'War as Principle? Plato against Thucydides and Heraclitus'

Grant Dowling (Columbia University) 'The City of Pigs as an Alternative Model of Justice in the

Romeo Domdii Cliff (KU Leuven) 'War and Virtue in the Critias'

The conference programme, and details on how to register, might be found here:

For any queries, please email Michael Withey at

New paper by Charles H. Pence on military ethics

Here Pence argues that the military's use of genomics must be guided by an understanding of the connection between genotype and phenotype. However this is something too challenging to do. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

graduate reading retreat

Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace
2015 Graduate Reading Retreat
Bergamo University, Italy
10 – 11 September, 2015

Invited Faculty:
Seth Lazar (Philosophy, ANU)
Yitzhak Benbaji (Law, Tel Aviv)
Francois Tanguay-Renaud (Law, York University, Canada)Helen Frowe (Philosophy, Stockholm)
Jonathan Parry (Philosophy, Stockholm)Massimo Renzo (Philosophy, Warwick)

The Stockholm Centre is now inviting submissions for its next annual Graduate Reading Retreat. The 2015 Retreat will take place at Bergamo University, Italy. Up to six places are available for graduate students doing philosophical work in the field of the ethics of war and peace. Each student will have a plenary session (30 minute presentation, 15 minute response and an hour's discussion) on their submitted paper. All papers will be pre-circulated and each student will be allocated a respondent from the invited faculty, who will provide both written comments and a short response during the session. Any student who has their paper accepted will receive a generous contribution towards their travel, and will have the costs of all their meals and accommodation covered.

Those wishing to submit a paper should email it to no later than 1st of March 2015. Papers should be no longer than 10,000 words, excluding references, and should be suitable for blind-refereeing. Please note that submitted papers should be unpublished, and not be under review at the time of the retreat. Please include your name, email address and affiliation in the submitting email, along with a one page CV. You should also attach a letter from your supervisor or head of department confirming that as of the 1st of March 2015 you are registered as a graduate student or within three months of your viva, and confirming your year of study. Please do not include letters of reference or other supporting materials. Papers are selected on merit. However, some preference will be given to students who did not participate in the 2014 GRR.

This event is kindly supported by the Philosophy Department of Bergamo University. (However, please direct all enquiries to Helen Frowe.)


Dr. Helen Frowe (
Director, Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace
Wallenberg Academy Research Fellow,

Department of Philosophy, Stockholm University, SE-10691, Stockholm, Sweden

Just published:
Helen Frowe, Defensive Killing (OUP)
Helen Frowe and Gerald Lang (eds.) How We Fight: Ethics in War (OUP)
Available through all good bookshops, or direct from Oxford University Press at: and