Valerie Morkevicius, Ph.D.

vmorkevicius@colgate.edu

Colgate University

Country: United States (New York)

About Me:

Valerie Morkevičius is an associate professor of political science a Colgate University. She is the author of Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2018) She has also written numerous articles and book chapters, including, most recently, “Coercion, Manipulation and Harm: Civilian Immunity and Soft War,” in Michael Gross and Tami Meisels, eds., Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her work focuses on the intersection between power and ethics, and the applicability of traditional just war thinking to contemporary challenges. 

Research Interests

Foreign Policy

Conflict Processes & War

Military Intervention

Political Violence

Political Theory

Nuclear Weapons

Specific Areas of Interest

Just War Thinking

International Ethics

My Research:

Valerie Morkevičius is an associate professor of political science a Colgate University. She is the author of Realist Ethics: Just War Traditions as Power Politics (Cambridge University Press, 2018) She has also written numerous articles and book chapters, including, most recently, “Coercion, Manipulation and Harm: Civilian Immunity and Soft War,” in Michael Gross and Tami Meisels, eds., Soft War: The Ethics of Unarmed Conflict (Cambridge University Press, 2017). Her work focuses on the intersection between power and ethics, and the applicability of traditional just war thinking to contemporary challenges. 

Publications:

Books Written:

(2018) Realist Ethics: Just War Thinking as Power Politics, Cambridge University Press

Tags: Political Theory, Foreign Policy

Just war thinking and realism are commonly presumed to be in opposition. If realists are seen as war-mongering pragmatists, just war thinkers are seen as naïve at best and pacifistic at worst. Just war thought is imagined as speaking truth to power - forcing realist decision-makers to abide by moral limits governing the ends and means of the use of force. Realist Ethics argues that this oversimplification is not only wrong, but dangerous. Casting just war thought to be the alternative to realism makes just war thinking out to be what it is not - and cannot be: a mechanism for avoiding war. A careful examination of the evolution of just war thinking in the Christian, Islamic, and Hindu traditions shows that it is no stranger to pragmatic politics. From its origins, just war thought has not aimed to curtail violence, but rather to shape the morally imaginable uses of force, deeming some of them necessary and even obligatory. Morkevičius proposes here a radical recasting of the relationship between just war thinking and realism.