Ethics, Evil and the State


Ethics, Evil and the State is an inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary project which seeks to explore issues surrounding ethics, evil and law, with a focus on state power and violence.

Perspectives are sought from those engaged in any field relevant to the study of political science and communication, journalism, critical media, policy, history, legal studies, anthropology, criminology, cultural theory, government, history, justice, law/legal studies, literature, media studies, peace studies, philosophy, psychology, religion/theology, and sociology, as well as those working in civil rights, human rights, prison services, politics and government (including NGOs), psychiatry, healthcare, and other areas.

Core Themes
Among the themes which the project will seek to explore are;

  • when and why is law evil or a source of evil?
  • state violence and coercion
  • justifications for punishment, including capital punishment
  • whether and under what circumstances the adversary or inquisitorial models of legal process generate, tolerate, or allow evil outcomes
  • issues of distributive justice in law, including distributing the costs of legal error
  • the intersection of law with issues of choice, responsibility, and diminished responsibility
  • state responsibility for terrorism, war, intervention, ethnic cleansing, and other problems of international law and international relations

The project will centre around an annual conference held each year in the United Kingdom and Europe. The work of the project is to be supported by an email discussion group, ISSN ejournal, ISBN publication series and an evolving research and resource centre.