Jonathan Parry (LSE Philosophy) and Christina Easton (The University of Warwick) have now published their new paper “Filling the Ranks”: Moral Risk and the Ethics of Military Recruitment in the American Political Science Review (APSR).
About the paper: If states are permitted to create and maintain a military force, by what means are they permitted to do so? This article argues that a theory of just recruitment should incorporate a concern for moral risk. Since the military is a morally risky profession for its members, recruitment policies should be evaluated in terms of how they distribute moral risk within a community. We show how common military recruitment practices exacerbate and concentrate moral risk exposure, using the UK as a case study. We argue that the British state wrongs its citizens by subjecting them to excessively morally risky recruitment practices. Since, we argue, this risk exposure cannot be justified by appealing to the benefits of a military career for recruits, our argument calls for reform of existing practices. Our method of evaluation is generalizable and therefore can be used to assess other states’ practices.