AHRC: AH/L003783/1

Project on "The Ethics of the Alternatives to War" (£181,634), from Jan 2014 to Dec 2015.



It is widely held that war should be eschewed and nonviolent alternatives should be pursued instead. For instance, various pacifist approaches reject the moral permissibility of war and Just War Theorists assert that, if war is to be morally justified, reasonable alternatives to war need to be pursued (the principle of last resort) and war must do more good than harm compared to the alternatives (the principle of proportionality). However, there tends to be a lack of systematic ethical analysis of the issues surrounding each of the alternatives, as well as of the alternatives as a whole. Although there has been significant empirical analysis of some of the potential alternatives, these have not considered in detail the relevant moral issues. Accordingly, the Fellowship will be used to develop a research project on the ethical issues surrounding the alternatives to war. It will focus specifically on economic sanctions, diplomacy, peace operations, nonviolent resistance, disarmament, and arming rebels. It will develop a normative framework on the alternatives the war and two central themes: first, the reasons to pursue the alternatives to war are generally much weightier than the reasons to pursue war because, for instance, of duties to contribute to peaceful international norms; second, wars may nevertheless be permissible sometimes because the alternatives face notable, additional problems of their own.