The Saudi-led coalition justified its intervention in Yemen with reference to its “responsibility” to protect the people of Yemen, yet the intervention has put more civilians at risk. Drew Thompson argues that RwP, if it were an established norm, may have led to a different outcome.
There is a fundamental ethical dilemma confronting all democratic states: if they intervene in violence-ridden contexts, then they are readily accused of double standards. On War and Democracy avoids this ethical and political dilemma by beating what could be called a double retreat.
Taking Sides in Peacekeeping: Impartiality and the Future of the United Nations by Emily Paddon Rhoads
The norm of impartiality is pivotal to the United Nations’ activities in the areas of conflict resolution, mediation, peacekeeping, humanitarian action, and adjudication. In recent years, however, the organization’s principled adherence to impartiality has come under scrutiny.
The third and most recent informal experts’ meeting on lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) took place in April 2016 at the UN Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) in Geneva. In this paper, Jean-Baptiste Jeangène Vilmer addresses the procedure, negotiations, the balance of power, and diplomatic dimension of the last round of Geneva debates.
The notion that some means of waging war are mala in se is a confronting one. Surely, any weapon can be used for good or ill? Philosophers often try to justify the category of mala in se by suggesting that some weapons are inherently incapable of being used in accordance with the just war principles of distinction and proportionality.
Robert Sparrow recently argued in this journal that several initially plausible arguments in favor of the deployment of autonomous weapon systems (AWS) in warfare are in fact flawed, and that the deployment of AWS faces a serious moral objection.
What interests do states have in assisting and protecting vulnerable populations beyond their borders? Today, confronted as we are with civil wars, mass atrocities, and humanitarian catastrophes that have cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of civilians and generated the displacement of sixty million more, this question is as urgent as it has ever been.
In this interview, Professor Robert Sparrow of Monash University speaks to the journal about his work on ethical issues raised by new technologies. The conversation focuses on Autonomous Weapons Systems (AWS), often referred to as “killer robots.”