Is there a role for (U.S.) Constitutional law in war or in the resolution of disputes?


You will be required to complete a four-stage paper.

The topic of your project is to be arranged in consultation with the instructor by the second week of class. The presentation/paper must fall within the purview of this course, that is, it must be related to some aspect of the intersection of law, morality, and war. It may cover the theoretical and/or practical connections between the existence of law and the conduct of war, or look into the status of morality regarding the violence of war in international relations and politics. This is particularly poignant in the post-Hiroshima era.

Here are some ideas you may want to consider:

You may look at the legal or moral problems posed by either contemporary warfare in the nuclear age or traditional warfare. Is there a role for (U.S.) Constitutional law in war or in the resolution of disputes? Does international law play a role? When is military intervention justified in the amelioration of, or end of, conflicts? Is there a tension between those who would punish war crimes, especially since Nuremberg, and those who hope to reconcile adversaries?

Religion and ideology play a major role in the ways people see war. Eli Weisel wrote that God died in the eyes of a young boy at Auschwitz. In other words, how can we explain the existence of evil if there is divine presence in the world? What do our contemporaries think about this matter? Countries always justify their wars against enemies, but does morality have to play a role? How do our readings in this course illuminate the connections between law, morality, and war?

Topic Selection/Thesis Statement

Choose a topic based on the above information. The thesis statement is not due until Week 4 but you may add a draft thesis statement summarizing the main argument you will be making in your final paper. This may change as you move forward, but it will be your general road map.

Make sure that you give me enough information to understand how your topic fits in with the course objectives.

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