Liberalism is not pacifism. The major Western ‘liberal’ states - states that attach importance, at least internally, to individual autonomy - have frequently been willing to use military force; they have also, on occasion, fought aggressive wars of choice. But liberal ideology and practice are not at ease with military adventures: war of its very nature involves attacks on life; it usually requires some kind of trade-off between security and liberty; and it encourages a warrior ethos that draws upon non-liberal motivations.
On July 6-7 2012, the University of Reading’s Leverhulme-supported Major Research Programme ‘The Liberal Way of War’ will host a conference concerned with the past, present, and future of ‘Liberal Wars’. It will be concerned with the constraints on liberal belligerent states arising from their liberal commitments, the tensions between liberal professions and the realities of large-scale warfare, and the way that such states represent their actions to themselves.
Send comments and questions to H-Net
Webstaff. H-Net reproduces announcements that have been submitted to us as a
free service to the academic community. If you are interested in an announcement
listed here, please contact the organizers or patrons directly. Though we strive
to provide accurate information, H-Net cannot accept responsibility for the text of
announcements appearing in this service. (Administration)