SCDTP Funded Student Wins Prestigious Award for Military Ethics Thesis

PhD student Marcus Curran has won a prestigious international award for the best student thesis in the field of military ethics in 2019 from EuroISME, the International Society for Military Ethics.

The prize was presented by General Karl Majcen, former ChoD of the Austrian National Defence Academy, and from 1990 to 1999, the seventh General Troop Inspector of the Austrian Armed Forces. The prize ceremony was held during the annual conference dinner in Vienna. Marcus presented his thesis ‘Towards a Genealogy of Precision in Discourse on Drone Warfare’ to the conference. It will now be translated into both German and French and published next year by Martinus Nijhoff.

Marcus said: “I took a philosophical look at precision in the history of war in order to better understand how “precision” functions as a justification and practice in the ethics of contemporary warfare, primarily by means of armed drone. The work feeds into my current PhD research on risk in armed drone use where I am taking an historical approach to risk in warfare and military ethics.

“Being an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funded PhD candidate, the masters thesis and my current research wouldn’t be possible without the backing and funding provided by the Council.”

Marcus’s supervisor Dr Peter Lee, Director of the Security and Risk research theme and Reader in Politics and Ethics, said: “Marcus has produced an outstanding dissertation on ‘precision’ in weapon use in war. More importantly, it has provided a great foundation for his PhD research, which is examining the relationship between drone use and political and military risk.”

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