The Ethics of International Security

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Security Cosmopolitanism

This project diagnoses the challenges posed by the globalisation of insecurity via processes— such as nuclear weapons, climate change, poverty, terrorism and transnationalised conflict—that transcend national borders and cannot be thwarted via traditional policy approaches. It develops a unique ethics and program for both national policy and the reform of collective security institutions that asserts global security as a universal good: one in which the security of all states, all human beings and ecosystems is of equal weight, in which causal chains and processes spread widely across space and through time, and in which security actors bear a responsibility to consider the global impact of their choices.

The project has produced a range of sole and co-authored outputs, including the book, Ethics and Global Security: A Cosmopolitan Approach, Critical Studies on Security  ('Security Cosmopolitanism') Critical Studies on Security, ('Security Cosmopolitanism: The Next Phase') Journal of Global Security Studies, ('An Ethics of Global Security), and “Foreword”, to Nikola Schmidt, ed. The project has produced important lines of collaboration, influence and engagement. Anthony Burke’s key “Security Cosmopolitanism” article was the focus of two special issues of Critical Studies on Security in 2013 and 2015, with responses by Mary Kaldor, Pinar Bilgin, Simon Dalby, Laura Sjoberg, Fiona Robinson, Rita Floyd, and Oliver Richmond.The globalisation of insecurity was the subject of a two-day workshop held in Canberra in 2013, and resulted in the coedited volume, Global Insecurity: Futures of Chaos and Governance. A one-day workshop on the ethics of security sponsored by the Centre for Conflict, Cooperation and Security at the University of Birmingham resulted in the co-edited volume, Ethical Security Studies: A New Research Agenda.  

The Moral and Social Costs of Militarization

In this book length project, Ned Dobos explores the moral and social costs of militarization, and shines a light on the ways in which a civilian population compromises its own security by having a military establishment attached to it. This research project considers whether it is ethically justifiable for states to build and maintain institutions devoted to war-making. In 2015 he guest edited a special issue Philosophical Forum on the topic of pacifism. He expanded some of the ideas that went into this contribution for his book.