Conflict, Morality, and Norms
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Level: Undergraduate, Graduate
Division: The New School for Public Engagement
School: Milano School of International Affairs, Management, and Urban Policy
Department: Milano General Curriculum
Course Number: NINT 5273
Course Format: Lecture
Location: NYC campus
Permission Required: No
  • International Affairs
  • Ethics & Social Responsibility
Changes brought about by globalization have affected both patterns of organized violence and the reaction to them, providing ample opportunities for discussing the moral complexity of conflict. The laws of war that regulate conduct during conflict belong to customary international law, and the wide agreement that they enjoy is based on shared belief in their underlying norms. Yet, this does not automatically translate into compliance by states and individuals, even in the case of the very actors who have contributed to the development and codification of such normative rules. The focus of this course is to provide an understanding of the gap between laws, norms and practices of war, beyond the classic argument of realism - - i.e. interest and power always trump ethics - and beyond a static understanding of the rules of conduct in wars. The course addresses the dynamic role of norms as interests, and norm entrepreneurs such as non-state actors, through a mix of theoretical discussions and case-studies.
Course Open to: Degree Students