War and Morality

Course Code: POLS 3000

Academic Year: 2021-2022

The past century has seen a shocking increase in the power - and perhaps even the willingness - that human beings have to destroy each other. Two world wars, the targeting of civilians with atomic bombs, the development of even more deadly nuclear weapons, countless revolutions, military coups, civil wars, and the rise of international terrorism all testify to the continuing use of violence and war as means to achieve political ends. This tendency is even found in calls for "humanitarian wars" that would be fought for the preservation of human rights and the protection of vulnerable populations. In light of the pervasiveness of war in many regions around the world today, it is important to critically examine the issue of how military force might be used for "moral reasons." This course will explore the possibilities of waging a moral war (if this is indeed possible) by applying various perspectives from political theory and philosophy to case studies. Category and Level: Society, Culture and Commerce. Upper Level Restrictions: None. Note: Students benefit from taking a lower level course in the Society, Culture and Commerce category prior to enrolling in this upper level course.