What We’ve Been Reading

| November 2020
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Welcome to our roundup of news and current events related to ethics and international affairs! Here’s some of what we’ve been reading this past month:

An Israeli UAV Hermes Drone. Photo Credit: Ronite via Wikimedia Commons

Al Jazeera: The Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict is Ushering In a New Age of Warfare

Recent fighting between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh has continued to intensify, with hundreds of armed forces casualties and dozens of civilian casualties. One of the defining traits of the conflict has been the use of autonomous weapons systems and technology, including drones and ground-detection radars.

Read more about the ethics of autonomous weapons systems and the future of interstate conflicts in Ethics & International Affairs:

Drones and War: The Impact of Advancement in Military Technology on Just War Theory and the International Law of Armed Conflict (September 2020)

Preventive Force: Drones, Targeted Killing, and the Transformation of Contemporary Warfare, Kerstin Fisk and Jennifer M. Ramos, eds.(2017: Volume 31.2) 

Toward a Drone Accountability Regime (2015: Volume 29.1)


Photo credit: Christiaan Colen via Flickr

New York Times: Iran and Russia Seek to Influence Election in Final Days, U.S. Officials Warn

In the lead up to the recent U.S. presidential election, U.S. intelligence agencies reported numerous attempts by foreign powers to interfere, both directly and indirectly. These efforts ranged from spreading misinformation on social media to using voter data to directly discourage individuals from voting. Though all votes in that election have now been cast, this continues a recent trend of attempts by countries to interfere in democratic elections through digital and cyber operations, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election and various elections in the European Union.

Read more about foreign election interference and the ethics of cyber warfare in Ethics & International Affairs:

The Case for Foreign Electoral Subversion (2017: Volume 32.2)

The Ethics of Countering Digital Propaganda (2017: Volume 32.2)

Ethics and Cyber Warfare: The Quest for Responsible Security in the Age of Digital Warfare by George Lucas (2017: Volume 31.4)


A view of the Statue of Liberty in New York City. Photo credit: Derek Jensen via Wikimedia Commons

Financial Times: Pandemic ends a decade of growth in global migration

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, global migration in the first half of 2020 hit its lowest level in over a decade. Current migrants face a host of challenges in their adopted countries, including increased unemployment, and are at a greater risk of infection of COVID-19 due to economic circumstances. Furthermore, countries are likely to increase immigration controls in efforts to protect their domestic workers.

Read more about the ethics of migration and immigration control in Ethics & International Affairs:

When Migration Policy Isn’t about Migration: Considerations for Implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (2019: Volume 33.4)

“Ye Shall Know them By Their Fruits”: Immigration Controls in Practice (July 2018)

Borders of Class: Migration and Citizenship in the Capitalist State (Volume 32.2)


UN representatives met in Geneva, Switzerland in October to negotiate the Libyan ceasefire agreement. Photo credit: UN Geneva via Flickr

Al Jazeera: UN Says Libya Sides Reach ‘Permanent Ceasefire’ Deal

The two warring sides in Libya’s nearly decade-long civil war recently signed a permanent ceasefire agreement after mediations led by the United Nations. The agreement between the UN-recognized Government of National Accord and the Libyan National Army group called for an immediate ceasefire and for all mercenaries to leave the country within three months. The agreement paves the way for future political talks between the two groups in the coming months.

Read more about the ethics of international peacekeeping and past UN peacekeeping accords in Ethics and International Affairs:

Taking Measure of the UN’s Legacy at Seventy-Five (2020: Volume 34.3)

UN Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding: Progress and Paradox in Local Ownership (2020: Volume 34.3)

Taking Sides in Peacekeeping: Impartiality and the Future of the United Nations by Emily Paddon Rhoads (2016: Volume 30.4)

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