Law and Ethics

How norms and rules contribute to peaceful relations and justice

What is the relationship between norms and the realm of international affairs? Can it ever be morally defensible to engage in armed struggle? If so, what rules and parameters should guide the use of armed force? How are current rules grounded, and how can we critique and change them so that they contribute to peaceful relations and further the cause of justice? And, not least, how can we use ethics and law to build trustful, stable, and peaceful relations in a multicultural world? These and similar overarching questions form the foundations of the Law and Ethics research group at PRIO.

The work of the Law and Ethics research group is primarily focused on three overarching themes, each encompassing a number of related research areas:

1. The rules of war and peace in history and in practice

2. Emerging military technologies (including unmanned aerial vehicles and cyber technology)

3. Institutional and moral challenges in the current world order.

PRIO’s work on Law and Ethics encompasses the academic fields of law, moral philosophy, political theory, religious studies, theology, history, and sociology. Although quantitative approaches will oftentimes be utilized or relied upon, the researchers within this research group mainly employ qualitative, hermeneutic approaches, both historical and sociological. Law and Ethics includes both normative and descriptive projects.

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