POL 4845: The Laws of War in International Politics

3 Credits

Is it possible to wage war and to maintain morality? Do the laws of war maintain morality, or do they justify vigorous wars? Do the laws of war even matter? If so, how do they matter? If not, why do they not? These are some of the broader questions that will guide our collaborative exploration and discussion of the laws of war and, importantly, our assessment of the applicability of the laws of war to contemporary topics. We will trace the codification of the laws of war in the 1949 Geneva Conventions and their 1977 Additional Protocols. We will look at their application in practice through the US led war on terror and specific questions such as protection of humanitarian actors, prisoner exchange, destruction of cities in war, protection of medical personnel, and other topics.

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A- Average (3.750)Most Common: A (79%)

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52 students

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