|Delivery Type||Delivery length / details|
|Lecture||15 x 1 Hour Lectures|
|Seminar||5 x 1 Hour Seminars|
|Assessment Type||Assessment length / details||Proportion|
|Semester Assessment||1 x 3,000 word essay||50%|
|Semester Exam||2 Hours (1 x 2 hour exam)||50%|
|Supplementary Assessment||1 x 3,000 word essay, if essay element failed||50%|
|Supplementary Exam||2 Hours ( 1 x 2 Hour exam) if exam element failed||50%|
On completion of this module, students should be able to do the following:
- Discuss and distinguish between the different theoretical approaches employed to question the ethics of war.
- Identify the central principles associated with the Just War Tradition.
- Explain and compare the different ethical arguments used to justify these principles.
- Describe the practical problems faced by actors (individuals, military organizations, states, intergovernmental organizations) in adhering to these principles.
- Define what is meant by 'new wars' and contrast them with conventional wars.
- Critically evaluate the relevance of 'just war' principles to contemporary conflict.
- Illustrate responses to the previous three points with reference to contemporary and historical examples.
The ethics of war is a subject that has experienced a revival in the study of International Relations over the last thirty years. It is also a subject with immediate relevance. Statements addressing the justice of both the resort to force and conduct in its execution are prevalent in the media and in contemporary political debates. This course explores the moral arguments behind these statements and presents students with the opportunity to question them in relation to concrete events.
The aims of this module are the following: to introduce students to the central ethical debates surrounding the resort to force in international relations; and, to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to critically examine the moral arguments and categories invoked in these debates, to analyze how these arguments and categories might be affected by the changing nature of war, and to relate such an examination to contemporary and historical examples of organized violence.
In the second part of the module, students will apply these approaches and concepts to ethical debates surrounding practical problems. These will include the following: the ethics of civilian casualties, justifications for 'humanitarian intervention', and the relevance of just war categories in response to 'terrorist' attacks. Each issue will be discussed in the context of concrete examples. The third part of the module will involve students analyzing the implications of the changing nature of war on these debates. The category of 'new wars' will be explored, as will developments in military technology and the 'CNN factor', whereby media exposure means that public opinion arguably has an increasing influences conduct in war.
Students will develop the ability to express themselves and present their work in front of a group in the context of responding to 'moral dilemmas' posed in seminars. They will be given feedback on their presentations by the seminar instructor. Both the seminars and the essay project will help students to develop a number of valuable, transferable skills. These include: team work, presentation skills, time-management, independent research, group planning and communication.
10 ECTS Credits
This module is at CQFW Level 6