Who Should Fight? The Ethics of the Draft

Thursday, December 2, 2010
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Oak Lounge
  • Should citizens be required to serve their country by fighting for it?
  • Do we think differently about the decision to go to war when only a small number of citizens will fight it?
  • Do volunteer armies and draft armies fight differently in combat?

This panel discussion focuses on the draft versus the volunteer army in the U.S. Our distinguished panelists examine "who should fight" in a democracy, focusing on the ethical dimension of a state's system of military service.

Panelists are:

David Kennedy (History, Emeritus, Stanford). Kennedy's scholarly focus is on the integration of economic and cultural analysis with social and political history. A prolific historian, he won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in History for Freedom From Fear: The American People in Depression and War, which recounts the history of the United States in the two great crises of the Great Depression and World War II, and was a 1981 Pulitzer Prize Finalist in History for Over Here: The First World War and American Society, which uses the history of American involvement in World War I to analyze the American political system.

Eliot Cohen (Strategic Studies, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies). Cohen's work focuses on diplomacy, international relations, irregular warfare, military history, military power and strategy, as well as strategic and security issues. He has served as Counselor of the U.S. Department of State, a member of the Policy Planning Staff of the Secretary of Defense, and a member of the Defense Policy Board. He also directed the U.S. Air Force's Gulf War Air Power Survey.

Jean Bethke Elshtain (Social and Political Ethics, Divinity School, The University of Chicago). Regularly named as one of America's foremost public intellectuals, Elshtain writes frequently for journals of civic opinion and lectures widely in the United States and abroad on themes of democracy, ethical dilemmas, religion and politics, and international relations. Elshtain has authored many books including Women and War; Democracy on Trial (a New York Times' notable book for 1995); and Just War Against Terror: The Burden of American Power in a Violent World (named one of the best nonfiction books of 2003 by Publishers Weekly.