PHIL/POLI/PWAD 272.002 – The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense

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Instructor: Alex Marcoci. This course meets MWF 1:25 – 2:15 p.m. in AR 218.

Can a liberal state ever trade the freedom of its citizens for their security? This course engages with contemporary national security policy debates by analysing the normative questions about morality and justice underlying them. Students will read both classical and contemporary texts in just war theory; they will debate the moral distinctiveness of terrorism and the principles governing a state’s response to it; they will engage with key issues such as the morality of torture, mass surveillance, whistleblowing and civil disobedience. By the end of the course students will attain a clear grasp of key philosophical considerations related to how liberal states can respond to threats to their security and learn how to analyse national security debates.