When former US President Barack Obama articulated his plan to destroy Islamic State, he was invoking what is known in political philosophy circles as just war theory. However, at the same time, he alluded to the idea that a new conception of just war theory was needed. But what exactly is just war theory? Maria Armoudian discusses this political theory with Jeff McMahan, Heather Roff, and Thomas Gregory.

Jeff McMahan is a Professor of Philosophy at Oxford University. He is an expert in the ethics of war and is the author of The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life.

Heather Roff is a Professor of International Studies at the University of Denver. She is an expert in national security and defense and is the author of Global Justice, Kant and the Responsibility to Protect: A Provisional Duty.

Thomas Gregory is a Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland. He is an expert in the ethics of war and killing.



This interview originally aired on the Scholars’ Circle. To access our archive of episodes and download this interview, click here.

For more of our audio and visual content, check out our YouTube channel, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this discussion reflect the views of the guests and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

You might also like:

What effect is the private military industry having on war? 🔊

What are the effects of war on society? 🔊