It is widely accepted given recent events that the laws of war now face severe challenges on multiple fronts. But what exactly is the nature of the problem they face? Here, there is less agreement. Is it simply that there are many military forces that refuse to comply with the laws of war? Or is it that there is now less consensus on the underlying ethical principles that inform the laws of war as they stand? Or is there a more deep-seated conflict over the very concept of war to which these laws are thought to apply? The speaker will try to bring a clearer focus on the nature of the problem, and what needs to be done to address it.
About the speaker
Professor Ian Clark spent much of his career at Cambridge University, and then as E. H. Carr Professor of International Politics at Britain’s Aberystwyth University. He is now Professor of International Relations at Australia’s University of Queensland, and is currently a Visiting Professor at RSIS. He has written many books in the fields of international history and international theory, notably L egitimacy in International Society, World Society and International Legitimacy, Hegemony in International Society, and The Vulnerable in International Society (all published by Oxford University Press). His latest work, titled Waging War: A New Philosophical Introduction, was published in 2015 and also by Oxford University Press; it is a totally re-written second edition of the book first published in 1988. Professor Clark is a Fellow of the British Academy, and an Honorary Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge.