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April 30, 2012 Book Celebration: “Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in an Asymmetrical World”

April 23, 2012

In honor of the release of “Targeted Killings: Law and Morality in and Asymmetrical World,” the University of Pennsylvania Law School will host a book celebration on Monday, April 30, 2012 at 5:30 p.m. in Silverman 245, Levy Conference Room.  

Co-edited by Penn Law’s Claire Finkelstein, the Algernon Biddle Professor of Law and Professor of Philosophy and the Co-Director of the Institute for Law & Philosophy, along with Jens David Ohlin of Cornel University and Andrew Altman of Georgia State University, Targeted Killings is an interdisciplinary compilation of essays that brings together articles dealing with the difficult moral and legal issues surrounding the use of targeted killing.
The book explores targeting non-combatants, the law-enforcement versus war paradigms, targeted killings and self-defense, criteria used in targeted killing decisions, and the ideological tradeoffs and deontological constraints on the practice.
Key questions and topics include:
  • What is targeted killing in a military context and what is the theory under which such killings may be permissible?
  • Does the law of war confine lawful attacks to conventional battlefields or has the specter of terrorism transformed the entire world into a global battlefield?
  • Do law and morality break down at the margins when military and civilian leaders are forced to take drastic action to stop deadly terrorist attacks?
Finkelstein writes in the areas of criminal law theory, moral and political philosophy, philosophy of law, international law, and rational choice theory. A particular focus of her work is bringing philosophical rational choice theory to bear on legal theory, and she is particularly interested in tracing the implications of Hobbes’ political theory for substantive legal questions. Recently she has also been writing on the moral and legal aspects of government-sponsored torture as part of the U.S. national security program. In 2008, Finkelstein was a Siemens Fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, during which time she presented papers in Berlin, Leipzig, and Heidelberg.
Keynote speaker, Admiral John Hutson, Dean Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law, will join Finkelstein to speak on targeted killing. Admiral Hutson is a renowned expert on military ethics and has been both the Judge Advocate General of the Navy and the Dean of the University of New Hampshire School of Law.
A cocktail reception will follow the discussion. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. For more information, contact Maggy Keegan at