International Ethics and War: a history

This course focuses on two main aspects of the history of international ethics and war: just war theory and in particular humanitarian intervention. More specifically it covers the following themes: • Introduction to international ethics (the views against ethics and norms in international politics and the views in support of ethics and norms in international politics). • The just war doctrine from antiquity until today, with emphasis on Aristotle, Cicero,Augustine, Aquinas, Vitoria, Gentili, Suarez and Grotius, and concluding with the situation today (Walzer). • The roots of humanitarian intervention: just war against tyranny, with emphasis on Vitoria, Gentili, Suarez, Grotius, the monarchomachs and Bodin, and Vattel. International law: the humanitarian intervention juridical debate from the 1830 until the 1930s. • Intervention and non-intervention in political theory during the long nineteenth century: the views of Kant, Hegel, Cobden, Mazzini and J.S. Mill. • Case studies of humanitarian intervention in the nineteenth century: the Greeks (1821-1831), Lebanon and Syria (1860-1861), the Bulgarians (1876-1878) and the US and Cuba (1895-1898) • Humanitarian interventions during the Cold War Humanitarian interventions during the Post-Cold War period • Today’s humanitarian intervention controversy; the quest for the appropriate international reaction in humanitarian plights; and key issues in the recent debate on humanitarian intervention.


The main aim of the course is to familiarize and to familiarize the student with international morality and war issues, while highlighting the historical dimension of these issues.


No prerequisites.


Lecture 1:Introduction to international ethics Realism: skepticism regarding ethics Ethics and norms as an essential part of international politics War and intervention   Lecture 2:The just war doctrine from antiquity until today Introduction Just war in antiquity -Plato and Aristotle -Cicero War and just war in the early Christian period -The situation until the Edict of Milan (313) -Ambrose and Augustine -Thomas Aquinas -Raymond of Penyafort -Vitoria -Suarez -Gentili -Grotius The just war doctrine: decline and resurgence -Walzer Lecture 3:The roots of humanitarian intervention: just war against tyranny Introduction The roots of the idea before the Renaissance -Cicero and Seneca -Pope Innocent IV Mainstream origins during the Renaissance -Vitoria -Suarez -Gentili -Grotius Lesser-known origins -Introduction -More -The monarchomachs -Bodin -A tentative conclusion From the seventeenth century until the French Revolution Lecture 4:International law: the humanitarian intervention debate, 1830-1939 Introduction Advocates of humanitarian intervention Opponents of humanitarian intervention Lecture 5:Intervention and non-intervention in political theory during the long nineteenth century Introductory remarks Kant on non-intervention and republicanism Hegel on non-intervention and war Cobden on peace, free trade and non-intervention Mazzini on nationality and non-intervention/intervention S. Mill on non-intervention and intervention -Introduction -Non-intervention -Intervention   Lecture 6:Case studies of humanitarian intervention in the nineteenth century The concept of humanitarian intervention (1830-today) Table I: Lists of instances of humanitarian intervention, 1820-1914 -Rougier 1910 -Stowell 1921 -Mandelstam 1925 -Ganji 1962 -Fonteyne 1973-74 -Behuniak 1978 -Bazyler 1987 -Malanczuk 1993 -Finnemore 1996 -Abiew 1999 -Grewe 2000 -Knudsen 2009 Intervention in the Greek War of Independence (1821-1830) Intervention in the Lebanon/Syria massacres (1860-1861) Intervention in the Bulgarian atrocities (1876-1878)   Lecture 7:Humanitarian intervention during the Cold War India’s intervention in East Pakistan (Bangladesh) Vietnam’s intervention in Cambodia Tanzania’s intervention in Uganda Involvement in Biafra Overall assessment regarding the Cold War period   Lecture 8:Humanitarian intervention during the Post-Cold War Era Assistance to the Kurds of Iraq Intervention in Somalia Belated intervention in Rwanda Intervention in Kosovo and Serbia   Lecture 9:Today’s humanitarian intervention controversy Six main positions on humanitarian intervention (HI) In search of the appropriate international reaction Key issues in the recent debate on humanitarian intervention






Instructors: Alexis Heraclides
Department: Τμήμα Πολιτικής Επιστήμης και Ιστορίας
Institution: Panteion University
Subject: History and Archaeology
Rights: CC - Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

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