Making the Military Moral: Contemporary Challenges and Responses in Military Ethics Education, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Making the Military Moral

Contemporary Challenges and Responses in Military Ethics Education, 1st Edition

Edited by Don Carrick, James Connelly, David Whetham


176 pages

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pub: 2017-09-05
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This book offers a critical analysis, both theoretical and practical, of ethics education in the military.

In the twenty-first century, it has become increasingly important to ensure that the armed forces of Western and other democracies fight justly and behave ethically. The ‘good soldier’ has to be not only professionally skilled but morally intelligent. At a time of relentless media scrutiny, the publicising of incidents of morally and legally unacceptable behaviour, such as the gross mistreatment of prisoners and the torture of suspected terrorists, can do much to undermine the credibility of those who claim to hold the moral high ground in any particular conflict. Written by an international team of academic theorists and military practitioners, this volume provides inter-disciplinary insights into the present state, and the future, of ethics education in the militaries of Western democracies. The contributors critically address the central question of whether such education is sufficient to prepare members of the armed forces to face the peculiar challenges of conflict environments that are now primarily ‘wars among the people’, in which the opposing combatants may have little or no regard for human life and fail to discriminate between soldiers and civilians when choosing their targets. Drawing lessons from recent examples of unethical conduct, this original book offers insightful and constructive advice, both theoretical and practical, as to how situations can be improved and on the means that could and should be employed towards this end.

This book will be of much interest to students of military studies, ethics and international relations.


'Making the Military Moral provides a rich tapestry of diverse issues in military ethics and military ethics education. One of its great strengths is the diversity of perspectives, both disciplinary and international, it offers on these issues. This volume is an important contribution to an increasingly global conversation on issue of military ethics.' -- Martin L. Cook, United States Naval War College

Table of Contents

1. On Making the Military Moral, James Connelly

2. Why Morality Matters to the Military, David Fisher

3. Military Ethics and the Importance of Cultural Competency, George Lucas

4. Solving the Military Moral Bystander Problem with Ethics Instruction, Peter Bradley & Allister Macintyre

5. Ethics at and after war: challenging battlefields, Stéphanie A.H. Bélanger and Michelle Moore

6. An Organic Professional Military Ethic and the Educational Challenge, Sally Rohan

7. Ethical Challenges for the Modern Military, John Thomas

8. Challenges in combining ethical education for conscripts and professional military: the Finnish point of view, Janne Aalto

9. Evaluating Military Ethics Education: common values, specific contexts, George Wilkes

10. Challenges to the Professional Military Ethics Education Landscape, David Whetham

About the Editors

Don Carrick is an Honorary Research Fellow in Applied Ethics at the University of Leeds, UK.

James Connelly is Professor of Political Theory at the University of Hull, UK, where he is Director of the Institute of Applied Ethics.

David Whetham is Reader in Military Ethics in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London, UK.

About the Series

Military and Defence Ethics

Military and Defence Ethics
There is an urgent and growing need for all those involved in matters of national defence - from policy makers to armaments manufacturers to members of the armed forces - to behave, and to be seen to behave, ethically. The ethical dimensions of making decisions and taking action in the defence arena are the subject of intense and ongoing media interest and public scrutiny. It is vital that all those involved be given the benefit of the finest possible advice and support. Such advice is best sought from those who have great practical experience or theoretical wisdom (or both) in their particular field and publication of their work in this series will ensure that it is readily accessible to all who need it.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
PHILOSOPHY / Ethics & Moral Philosophy