The Morality of Victory

Moral and legal standards for the use of force have recently reclaimed a central position in international political debates, including former president Barack Obama’s open embrace of the language of just war tradition. But even as the moral grammar of war makes a popular comeback against the backdrop of crises in Iraq, Syria, Libya, and elsewhere, the notion of “victory” continues to remain problematic. This event was part of a major research initiative that is based at the University of Glasgow and engaged an international host of experts on the concept of “victory.” Scholars and practitioners reflected on the concept of victory as it relates to just war principles; the ethics of war; and the dynamics of norms, exit strategies, and endgames. They also reflected on tensions and concerns with the idea of “winning” wars in a complex and changing century.

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