Ethics and War: Ethics and War: Cecile Fabre (Philosophy, Oxford) "Living with the Enemy: The Ethics of Belligerent Occupation"

Thu April 12th 2012, 7:00pm
Event Sponsor
McCoy Family Center for Ethics in Society
Bldg 300, Room 300
Ethics and War: Ethics and War: Cecile Fabre (Philosophy, Oxford) "Living with the Enemy: The Ethics of Belligerent Occupation"

Abstract: Military occupation is one of the harshest ‘dilemmatic situations’ to which human beings are confronted. Occupying soldiers and occupied civilians have to decide, every day, whether to treat one another as enemy, human beings, or both. Negotiating those relationships does not always require grand decisions and solemn gestures. More often than not, from the point of view of occupied populations, it is to be exposed to the necessity of daily acts of moral compromise, most of which are often insignificant when taken on their own but whose cumulative effect, under the long shadow of war and its privations, can corrode one’s moral integrity – one’s sense of how one should act towards those soldiers who walk down one’s streets, buys goods from one’s shops, uses one’s facilities. Surprisingly in the light of the recent occupation of Iraq by the US, there is a dearth of philosophical work on this issue. Fabre aims to explore the moral rights and duties which occupiers and occupied have vis-à­-vis one another. She argues, contra the law of occupation, that those rights and duties largely depend on the moral status of the war (as just or unjust) which precedes the occupation.

Cecile Fabre is a political and moral philosopher whose work is located in Anglo-American normative thought. She is a tutorial fellow in Philosophy at Lincoln College, and a lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy, at Oxford University. Prior to moving to Oxford, she held the Chair in Political Theory at Ednburgh University, and was a Senior Lecturer in Political Theory at the London School of Economics. Fabre has written on distributive justice, rights, democracy, prostitution, organ transfers and surrogacy contracts.  Her current work is on the ethics of war and recently completed the first of a two-volume research monograph. The first volume (published by OUP in the summer of 2012), defends a cosmopolitan theory of the just war. The second volume aims to defend a cosmopolitan account of the transition from war to peace and of peace after war. Fabre is also on the steering committees of two research centres in Oxford, the Programme on the Changing Character of War and the Oxford Institute for the Ethics and Law and Armed Conflicts.