The Ethical War Blog‏

Last summer The Stockholm Centre for the Ethics of War and Peace (SCEWP) launched The Ethical War Blog. The blog publishes short and timely opinion pieces on morality and war, written by specialists in the field, in an accessible and digestible format.

Since the launch we published a number of excellent new pieces. To keep you updated, the information is collated below.

-Michael Robillard (Connecticut) and Bradley J. Strawser (Naval Postgraduate Academy) argue that soldiers are subject to a distinctive form of exploitation.

-Saba Bazargan (UC San Diego) discusses whether terrorism must be political.

-Adam Hosein (Colorado) considers whether we should use the name Daesh instead of ISIS.

-Ned Dobos (UNSW) asks whether Japan has abandoned its official pacifism.

-Christopher Finlay (Birmingham) considers the morality of intervention in Syria.

-Heather Roff (Arizona State and Oxford) discusses the ethics of autonomous weapons.

-Graham Parsons (West Point Military Academy) discusses the role of gender in war and terrorism.


These join the articles that we launched the blog with:

-James Pattison (Manchester) asks whether arming rebels in conflicts such as Syria is preferable to military intervention.

-Adil Ahmed Haque (Rutgers) discusses ISIS, cultural destruction, and international law.

-Yitzhak Benbaji (Tel Aviv) and Prof. Alexander Yakobsen (Hebrew University) assess the morality of Hamas’ tactics during Operation Protective Edge.

-Jonathan Peterson (Loyola University, New Orleans) asks whether defending cultural objects can justify waging war against ISIS.

-David Rodin (Oxford and EUI) discusses the conflict between the right to free speech and the duty to avoid causing harm in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

For more information about the blog (including if you would be interested in contributing), please get in touch with Jonathan Parry at And please do circulate this to anyone you think may be interested (and especially your students).

On Growing Old

Bertrand Russell was an iconoclast. An atheist. A conscientious objector. A strong voice against the use of the atomic bomb. A brilliant mathematician and philosopher. An advocate of sexual freedom. One of the intellectual giants of the 20th century. A fine writer. And he lived to be 97!

An individual human existence should be like a river–small at first, narrowly contained within its banks, and rushing passionately past rocks and over waterfalls. Gradually the river grows wider, the banks recede, the waters flow more quietly, and in the end, without any visible break, they become merged in the sea, and painlessly lose their individual being. The man who, in old age, can see his life in this way, will not suffer from the fear of death, since the things he cares for will continue. And if, with the decay of vitality, weariness increases, the thought of rest will not be unwelcome. I should wish to die while still at work, knowing that others will carry on what I can no longer do and content in the thought that what was possible has been done. – Bertrand Russell, “How to Grow Old”

This essay is from Portraits from Memory and Other Essays.

After ages during which the earth produced harmless trilobites and butterflies, evolution progressed to the point at which it generated Neros, Genghis Khans, and Hitlers. This, however, is a passing nightmare; in time the earth will become again incapable of supporting life, and peace will return.- BERTRAND RUSSELL, Unpopular Essays