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Flag of Ukraine. Photograph by John-Mark Smith via
Unpacking Just War Thinking in the Case of Ukraine
March 18, 2022
This week we look at the morals, emotions, and ideas about order and justice that have shaped just war thinking and public rhetoric with Dr. Valerie Morkevičius.
Valerie Morkevičius. Photograph courtesy
Is it Ever Ethical to Go to War? March 18, 2022
“Once you know you can feel empathy and passion for people who are suffering, it’s time to reflect and think about other conflicts and our response,” according to Dr. Valerie Morkevičius, author of Realist Ethics and an associate professor of Political Science from Colgate University.  Morkevičius explores the role of moral injury and how those feelings of empathy are foundational to the evolution of just war frameworks rooted in early Christianity.

Morkevičius describes the origin of just war In the Christian tradition that evolved by the 13th century – reviewing the six core principles, how they evolved, and why.  From the importance of discouraging individual actions in a feudal society to the slippery idea of righting wrongs. Morkevičius unpacks how each principle applies to the current conflict from moral injury to the collateral damage or costs caused by modern hybrid warfare.

Morkevičius reviews how the similarities of just war principles suggest that the religious practices were grounded in real politics.  She draws out differences and lessons to be learned in thinking about war and conflict today.

Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics. Cambridge University Press
Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics
Cambridge University Press

Dr. Valerie Morkevičius Ph.D., Associate professor of political science at Colgate University, and author of Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics. Her work focuses on the intersection between power and ethics, and the applicability of traditional just war thinking to contemporary challenges.

You can read Professor Morkevičius' article How do Russia’s reasons for war stack up? An expert on ‘just war’ explains in The Conversation.

Our theme Breath Deep is copyright MC Yogi.

The performance of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings by ensemble blank
and conducted by Jaehyuck Choi and the guitar arrangement of Pascal Leroublon's Friendship
by Cyro Torres
are used under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.

This week's closing music, New Hope, by Audiobinger, is 
used under a Creative Commons By Attribution 4.0 license.

All additional music by Blue Dot Sessions.

Remixes and sound design by Dissimilation Heavy Industries.