On Being a Moral Decisionmaker in War

Led by Helene Christiansen Ingierd

Jan 2002 – Dec 2007

This doctoral project in political science focuses on the responsibility of soldiers for actions undertaken in war, with emphasis on the special obligations of peacekeeping forces. A conceptual analysis of the meaning of responsibility, as well as an investigation of how responsibility and culpability are actually understood by current actors in violent conflict will be developed. The project’s aim is threefold:

(1) drawing on concepts from ethics and political philosophy (taken largely from the just war tradition), it will discuss how responsibility and culpability for wartime actions can best be defined and delineated;
(2) by conducting interviews with Norwegian peacekeepers who have served on peacekeeping missions in Lebanon, Bosnia, and Kosovo, it will investigate how this group of soldiers and officers view their professional moral responsibilities as actors in violent conflict;
(3) finally to suggest, against the background of both (1) and (2), better ways of assigning responsibility and culpability for wrongful actions in war.

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