Throughout history, states have tried to create the perfect combatant with superhuman physical and cognitive features that are akin to those of comic book superheroes. However, the current innovations have nothing to do with the ones from the past and their development goes beyond a simple technological perspective. On the contrary, they are raising the prospect of a human enhancement revolution that will change the ways with which future wars will be fought and may even profoundly alter the foundations upon which our modern societies are built on. In his presentation, Dr. Caron will discuss the full ethical implications of these new technologies.
Dr. Caron will also present his second book titled Disobedience in the Military: Legal and Ethical Implications. While many may think that the military required its members to blindly obey all orders they receive, this perception is nonetheless inaccurate. Disobedience is a fundamental professional obligation of members of the military and overrides the obligation to follow commands. But what is the extent of this obligation? Are soldiers obligated to participate in what they consider to be an illegal war, or should they be allowed to enjoy a right to selective conscientious objection? Should soldiers obey a legal order that, if followed, would facilitate the perpetration of war crimes by a third party? How should soldiers act if they are ordered to follow a lawful order that could result in immoral consequences? Should soldiers be allowed to refuse to obey what can be labeled as suicidal orders? Based upon the nature of soldiers’ professional obligations, this book tries to offer answers to these important questions. The author turns to a number of different case-studies, including conscientious objections, duty to protect in genocidal situations such as Rwanda and Srebrenica, suicidal orders in wars, as well as retribution and leniency towards war criminals, as a way of assessing the different legal and ethical implications of disobedience in the military.
About Jean-Francois Caron:
Jean-François Caron is an Associate Professor at the Department of Political Science and International Relations. Prior to his hiring at Nazarbayev University, he served as an Assistant Professor at the Université de Moncton and as a Lecturer at the Université Laval, the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi and at the Université libre de Bruxelles.