Pacifism, in its most familiar form, is the view that waging war is never morally justified—call this the pacifism-of-acts. This is to be carefully distinguished from what we might call the pacifism-of-institutions. The latter position is not characterised by an absolute objection to waging war with the military resources that we have amassed. It is characterised, rather, by an objection to the amassing of those resources to begin with.
Does acquisition of nuclear weapons by security rivals increase their level of conventional militarised conflict? Some recent theoretical and quantitative work has supported the ‘stability-instability paradox’, the proposition that while nuclear weapons deter nuclear war, they may also provide the conditions for nuclear-armed rivals to increase conventional military conflict with each other. However, other quantitative analysis and qualitative studies of the India–Pakistan dyad have delivered more equivocal assessments.
One question that International Relations’ (IR) feminist and decolonial theorists grapple with is how can ‘the invisible’ be made ‘visible’ in such a way that recognises its agency? In this seminar, Sophie Harman explores a new method of research to explore this question: the co-production of a narrative feature film Pili, between an academic researcher, a film crew, and a group of women from rural coastal Tanzania living below the international poverty line of US$2 a day. This project is the first use of narrative feature film as method in IR.