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CFP: War and Self-Defence

August 25th – 27th, 2010
University of Sheffield, UK

Keynote Speakers:

Frances Kamm (Harvard)
Jeff McMahan (Rutgers)
David Rodin (Oxford)

Recent years have seen a rapid growth of interest in just war theory. The current political climate has confronted us with important and difficult questions about, amongst other things, the moral status of combatants, the moral status of non-combatants, the possibility of wars waged by non-state actors, and the conditions under which one can be said to have a just cause for war. Many writers take the answers to these questions to be based, at least in part, on considerations about what individuals may do in self-defence, or other-defence. Others have denied the existence of any substantive relationship between the ethics of self-defence and the ethics of national-defence. This conference, hosted by the Sheffield Philosophy department, will bring together leading researchers in the field, and offer an opportunity for scholars to present recent research in this area. Submissions from those working in related fields, such as Law, Politics and International Relations, are also welcome.

There will be a number of parallel sessions held during the conference. Those wishing to present should submit a paper of no more than 3000 words, suitable for a 30 minute presentation, along with an abstract of 150 words, to H.Frowe@sheffield.ac.uk by the 1st of December 2009. Please note that papers should be prepared for blind review and that only electronic submissions will be accepted.

Suggested paper topics include:

– The relationship between war and self-defence
– The ethics of self-defence
– Wars of humanitarian intervention
– The moral status of combatants
– Killing non-combatants
– Just causes for war
– The idea of legitimate authority
– The moral status of terrorists
– The moral wrongness of terrorism

There are plans to put together an edited volume of a selection of the conference papers. Those authors who would like to have their paper considered for inclusion in this collection should mention this in their submission email. Authors of the selected papers will be notified shortly after the conference.

This conference is generously sponsored by The Leverhulme Trust and the Mind Association.