Archive for the 'ethics' Category

15 avr« The Morality of Drone Warfare », Jennifer Welsh, Oxford Institute for Ethics, Law and Armed Conflict, Mercredi 24 Avril 2013

Jennifer Welsh (Oxford Univ.), The Morality of Drone Warfare

This paper examines the impact of the increased use of drones in warfare, and their particular role in the practice of targeted killing. The preliminary section challenges some of the commonly held myths about drone technology, and argues that weaponized drones remain a ‘human heavy’ and intimate means of killing. In the second section, I demonstrate that targeted killing through drones has significant implications for what Just War Theory calls jus ad bellum (the legitimacy of engaging in war), and jus in bello (the legitimacy of acts taken during the conduct of war). With respect to JAB, drones have the potential to change states’ conception of, and adherence to, the notion of ‘last resort’ (i.e., that the use of force, because of its lethality and consequences, must only be contemplated after other means have proved unworkable). More specifically, they both raise the threshold for engaging in a large-scale war (since they offer an alternative means of meeting a threat), and encourage relaxation of the ‘last resort’ criterion when contemplating their use (since they are a means short of full-scale war). With respect to JIB, drones offer a better prospect of meeting the requirement of non-combatant immunity. But this in turn has had a morally relevant effect: the U.S. government’s faith in drones’ proportionality and discrimination induces the U.S. to undertake riskier strikes, thereby increasing the likelihood of the collateral damage drones are celebrated for preventing. Moreover, the U.S. government’s implementation of the discrimination principle in the context of counter-terrorism (particularly in ‘signature strikes’), has led to questionable methods for defining a ‘combatant’, which in practice has meant that those who the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC) might define as civilians have been killed in drone strikes. This suggests that drone warfare may not actually eliminate risk, but rather transfer much of it from one society to another – raising ethical questions about the legitimacy of such a quest for ‘low cost’ warfare. In my concluding section, I will argue that targeted killing through drones has observable and morally relevant effects not only on the people and societies that are targeted, but also on the society sponsoring the killing (particularly if it is a constitutional democracy) and the individual operating the drone.

Discutant: Christopher Kutz (Berkeley University)
Salle Jean Monnet: 17.00-19.00

20 décFrédéric Ramel (Sciences Po, CERI), « L’attraction mondiale », Mardi 22 Janvier 2013

Frédéric Ramel, « L’attraction mondiale »

Dans la théorie des relations internationales, l’attraction correspond soit à la polarisation (mécanisme stratégique à partir duquel les Etats se rallient à une puissance), soit à la séduction (tendance culturelle décrite sous les traits du soft-power). Ces deux perspectives sont étriquées mais surtout aveugles quant à l’existence d’une autre forme que revêt l’attraction. Celle-ci travaille l’humanité depuis la Renaissance européenne. Elle correspond à la circulation des biens, des personnes et des idées qui rapprochent les êtres humains et les sensibilisent à un destin commun (ce qui renvoie à la tendance générale qu’évoque l’attraction dans la physique newtonienne). Cette prise de conscience transforme notre rapport au monde ainsi qu’à l’espace politique. Elle modifie les manières de concevoir l’organisation du vouloir vivre ensemble. L’attracteur n’est plus un pôle de puissance militaire ou culturelle. Il renvoie à l’idée d’unité politique mondiale en tant qu’« aboutissement logique » de l’histoire universelle. Quelles sont les propriétés de cet aboutissement ? Quelle est la nature de cet attracteur que l’on peut qualifier de cosmopolitique ? Quelles sont ses particularités institutionnelles ? Cette unité correspond-t-elle à un idéal ? A ces interrogations, les familles de pensée ne répondent plus de manière homogène en leur sein. De nouveaux clivages apparaissent entre celles qui clarifient l’attraction cosmopolitique, celles qui contestent son existence, celles qui cherchent à le corriger tout en acceptant la quête de l’universel dans une perspective d’ouverture aux idées non-occidentales. Ces trois approches reposent sur une relecture des classiques de la philosophie (en particulier Kant, Hobbes, Schmitt) tout en proposant des aménagements inédits. Elles constituent le cœur de la philosophie politique des relations internationales.

Discutant: Pierre Hassner (Sciences Po, CERI)
Salle Jean Monnet: 17.00-19.00


09 févToni Erskine (Aberystwyth University), ‘Who is Responsible?! Assigning Duties and Apportioning Blame to Institutional Moral Agents in World Politics.’, Jeudi 23 Février

Toni Erskine (Aberystwyth)

Questions of moral agency are fundamental to world politics. Who – or what – can bear the related moral burdens of duty and blame for specific acts and outcomes has serious implications for both theory and practice. Politicians, policy-makers, citizens and scholars alike endeavour to identify and assign, and sometimes deny or deflect, obligations to respond to crises such as famine, environmental degradation, genocide, and financial collapse. We also apportion blame – for acts and omissions that contribute to these crises and for failure to address them adequately. Problematically, however, these calls to action, claims to duty, and cries of condemnation often precede consideration of the bodies capable of responding. In this paper, I will argue that such prescriptions and evaluations should be directed towards those formal organizations with sophisticated, integrated capacities for deliberation and action (such as most states, multinational corporations, and, sometimes, the United Nations), as well as towards individual human actors. In short, an account of what I call ‘institutional moral agency’ is necessary in order to speak coherently about world politics.

Discussant: Ariel Colonomos (CNRS-CERI)
CERI (salle du rez-de-chaussée)

30 décRichard Beardsworth (The American University of Paris), « Cosmopolitan Commitments: Normative and Empirical Arguments in a Global Age of Transition », Mardi 17 Janvier (Lieu: Sciences Po, 199 boulevard St Germain)

Richard Beardsworth (AUP)

Cosmopolitan Commitments in International Relations: Normative and Empirical Arguments in a Global Age of Transition

In my recent book Cosmopolitanism and International Relations Theory I respond to two judgments in the discipline of International Relations concerning cosmopolitan commitments. First, qua moral, they remain normative; attempting to embed them in empirical practice is consequently either naïve and/or dangerous. Here cosmopolitanism has often been conflated in IR with neoconservative foreign policy (particularly among Realists); or rather, actually existing cosmopolitan commitments have been critiqued through the critique of neoconservative foreign policy. Second, cosmopolitanism has been more generally associated, when seeking institutional form, with the hegemonic strategies of ‘global liberal governance’. Here cosmopolitanism is considered reducible to Western forms of either cultural/legal universalism (particularly among postmodern IR theorists) and/or economic neo-liberal universalism (particularly among post-Marxists). My response unties in detail the theoretical confusions that permit both kinds of judgment, arguing strongly for the pertinence of universal commitments in international politics. While doing so, it nevertheless assumes the difficulty of a cosmopolitan politics at this moment of world history. The book argues, accordingly, for a pragmatic cosmopolitanism: one that situates responsibility to cosmopolitan commitments on specific global issues within state behaviour. The argument is left unfinished in the book and requires more reflection in the context of current transitions in power.
With the emergence of a multipolar world and the loss of a global hegemon, the disjuncture between global problems and the institutions to address them effectively and legitimately is apparent. State responsibility to cosmopolitan commitments on specific global issues needs consequently, to be argued all the more: on both empirical and normative levels. Empirically, increasing dependence between states and their peoples fosters ever-more distinctive, but inter-related transnational problems; it is therefore in the national interest regarding these problems to act collectively. As both the current financial crisis in the EU and the dilemmas of the UNFCCC conferences on climate change mitigation and adaptation however show, states’ assumption of supranational commitments constitutes also, and crucially, a normative issue. This assumption requires moral responsibility and moral leadership. Both are currently lacking. The argument for cosmopolitan commitments in the next era of the post-Westphalian system of states must therefore be made, at one and the same time, in empirical and normative terms. Such argument fosters more emphatic political vision in the discipline of IR.

Discutant: Bertrand Badie (Sciences Po)
Sciences Po, Ecole doctorale, 199, boulevard Saint Germain, 3è étage.
17.00 – 19.00

15 novFrédéric Mérand (Université de Montréal), « Le Monde selon Pierre Bourdieu », Monday June 15th 2009

Frédéric Mérand (Université de Montréal)

Le monde selon Pierre Bourdieu : éléments pour une théorie sociale des relations internationales

Discutant et responsable scientifique : Bastien Irondelle (CERI)

CERI, salle de conférences, 10.00 am – 12.00 pm