Archive for the 'just war' Category

21 octRenaud-Philippe Garner (Univ. Toronto), « A Tale of Two Moralities », Mardi 17 Novembre, 17.00-19.00

Renaud-Philippe Garner (Univ. Toronto)

In this paper, I seek to close a gap in Michael Walzer’s argument for the moral equality of soldiers. Specifically, I seek to show that Walzer’s argument for the moral equality of soldiers depends upon an implicit analysis of the function of excuses. I provide this analysis of excuses: a triadic relationship between moral norms, a background of normality and excuses. I then use this analysis to show that Jeff McMahan’s argument for the moral inequality of soldiers rest upon an implausible view of excuses, namely that the conditions of war merely constitute excuses for failing to comply with ordinary, or peacetime, morality. I argue that the conditions of war are best understood as providing a new background of normality rather than a set of excuses. To show this, I identify five conditions that separate the normality of war from the normality of peace.

Discutant: Yoel Mitrani (Sciences Po)

Lieu : CERI, salle Jean Monnet


23 septLaura Dickinson (GWU), « Challenges to Domestic and International Legal Frameworks: Drones, Contractors, and Automated Weapons », Mardi 13 Octobre, 2015

Laura Dickinson (George Washington University)

This paper grapples with the impact of new military technologies on two bodies of law governing the use of force overseas (1) the domestic constitutional and statutory allocation of power between the President and Congress in U.S. law; (2) international humanitarian law. Unmanned aerial systems, often referred to as drones, as well as other increasingly automated weapons systems, are so radically reshaping the nature of war that they are distorting and changing time-worn legal calculations about the decision to use force abroad, as well as the way force is used once that decision is made. Moreover, the growing use of contractors, who invent, maintain, and in many cases operate these technologies, enhances this effect. By minimizing U.S. casualties and augmenting more conventional air campaigns, drones and contractors together reduce the political costs of engagement, making it easier for states to contemplate using force abroad. Perhaps even more significantly, in the United States these new methods and means of warfare enable legal arguments that change the balance of power between Congress and the President enshrined in domestic law – tilting it toward the President. At the same time, deploying these new technologies fragments authority and diffuses decision-making, which now often involves multiple actors who are removed from the actual battle. As a result, responsibility for the calculations governed by international humanitarian law is harder to pinpoint. Thus, even putting aside the vigorous debate about the scope and content of humanitarian law as it applies to the U.S. terrorist targeting program and the campaign against terrorism more broadly, we can see that the increasingly automated means of conducting that campaign, combined with the prominent role for contractors, diminishes the restraining power of international humanitarian law. To illustrate these points, the paper will focus on three examples in which the U.S. President did not receive explicit Congressional authorization for the use of force: the Kosovo intervention in 1999, the intervention in Libya in 2011, and the current campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Discussant: Roger-Philippe Garner (Univ. of Toronto)

Ecole Doctorale, 199 boulevard Saint Germain
3ème étage


16 mar« Pratiques discursives de (non)intervention: une archéologie (1648–1815) », Christelle Rigual (Graduate Institute Genève), Jeudi 26 Mars 2015, 17.00

Christelle Rigual (The Graduate Institute Geneva)

Pratiques discursives de (non)intervention: une archéologie (1648–1815)

Few studies are dedicated to the concept of non-intervention, which is frequently equated with states’ sovereignty-deduced right to independence. The paper consequently questions how, historically and discursively, the notion of nonintervention emerged and evolved. The research, investigating ‘How has the conceptual system of (non)intervention been articulated and (de)constructed in international discursive practices between 1648 and 1815?’ will be conducted as a Foucauldian archaeology. This theoretical framework suggests looking at the relations, continuities and discontinuities around discursive formations; here the one of ‘non-intervention’ defined as the ‘external (non)interference in the internal affairs of a political entity’. Assumptions guiding the research suggest that 1) concepts of nonintervention and sovereignty did not emerge in a neat package during the Peace of Westphalia; 2) these concepts might have been disconnected and have evolved differently though time. Empirically, the paper qualitatively investigates several bodies of discourses (international treaties, lawyers, politicians and historians) around
key historical junctures from the Peace of Westphalia to the Congress of Vienna, to uncover discursive practices having governed understandings of (non)intervention through time. This contribution fills the gap in our knowledge on the concept of nonintervention, contributing to the literature of International Relations and shedding a renewed light on key contemporary events.

Discutante : Amélie Ferey (Sciences Po)

Lieu : 199 boulevard Saint Germain, école doctorale, 3ème étage

23 nov« Jus Post Bellum and Externally Imposed Regime Change », Stefano Recchia (Cambridge Univ.), Jeudi 4 Décembre (17.00)

Jus Post Bellum and Externally Imposed Regime Change

Stefano Recchia (Cambridge)

Influential contemporary theorists of jus post bellum, including Brian Orend, Gary Bass, Michael Walzer, and Michael Doyle, suggest that external interveners have a duty to establish representative democratic governance structures in “genocidal states” that have recently experienced large-scale, politically motivated violence against civilians. Against this view, I argue that regardless of a society’s recent history, efforts by foreign interveners to impose representative democracy are incompatible with the liberal internationalism that those authors profess to follow. Building on Rawls’s Law of Peoples, I argue that external peacebuilders ought to establish—forcibly if needed—“decent” governance structures that guarantee basic human rights protection and allow for meaningful popular self-determination. Yet efforts by outsiders to move beyond such decent governance structures pre-emptively resolve questions of institutional design that each people should best work out for itself, and consequently they are paternalistic to a degree that is difficult to justify from a liberal standpoint concerned with self-determination. There are also consequentialist reasons for preferring merely decent governance structures to representative democracy, unless the latter is freely chosen by the recognized representatives of the local population: the establishment of decent governance structures that build on local notions of political legitimacy facilitates the emergence of stable peace, or what Rawls calls “stability for the right reasons,” whereby a society’s members internalize the principles of justice embodied in a society’s institutions and act accordingly. By contrast, as classical liberals like J.S. Mill and Giuseppe Mazzini well understood, if outsiders impose more demanding, potentially alien notions of representative democracy on a society, it may be much more difficult to establish a self-sustaining peace.

Discutante : Marine Guillaume (CERI-Sciences Po)
Lieu: CERI, 56, rue Jacob, Paris 6, salle du conseil (4ème étage)