Between Annihilation and Restraint: Law, Science, Liberalism and the American Way of Warfare
The United States has, since its founding as a republic, sought to balance two competing imperatives when it goes to war: to preserve, at all costs, the security of United States, its values and way of life and to conduct itself in a liberal manner that shows “a decent respect for the opinions of mankind”. The US repeatedly turns to technology to reconcile these two competing impulses – but the results are often mixed. Regardless of its record, however, the US continues to aspire to technology to have wars that are clean, if not “easy”, with little cost in terms of blood, treasure or reputation. In reflecting on the history of US wars, this talk will argue that there are 10 key lessons that must be considered by Western policy makers who have a stake using force, especially in Iraq and Syria.
Stephanie Carvin is an Assistant Professor of International Relations at the Norman Paterson School of International Affairs. Her research interests are in the area of international law, security, terrorism and technology.
- Prisoners of America’s Wars: From the Early Republic to Guantanamo (Columbia/Hurst, 2010).
- Science, Law, Liberalism and the American Way of Warfare: The Quest for Humanity in Conflict” (Cambridge, 2015) co-authored with Michael J. Williams.
Tuesday February 2nd 2016
11:30 – 1:00pm
Hagey Hall 341 – PSCI Lounge
200 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1