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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 29, 2008

Ida Beam scholar to discuss the American way of war Nov. 10 and 11

Henry Shue, a senior research fellow and professor emeritus of politics and international relations at Merton College, Oxford University, will visit the University of Iowa as an Ida Beam Distinguished Visiting Professor Monday, Nov. 10 and Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Shue, a leading scholar on international distributive justice and human rights, will present two public lectures on recent research topics related to war. He will present "Is the American Way of War Just?: Terrorism and the Initiation of War" at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10, in Room 2520D in the University Capitol Centre. The second lecture, "Is the American Way of War Just?: Bombing and the Limitation of War," will take place at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11 at 1117 University Capitol Centre.

Shue's research has focused broadly on political philosophy and theory, but more specifically on human rights, world hunger, environmental justice and the questions of sovereignty and national boundaries. After many years devoted to work on nuclear deterrence, his writing in the last decade has mainly concerned issues of justice arising in international negotiations over climate change, the international legal responses to climate change, and most recently, on war.

His current writing concentrates on the two primary aspects of war: the resort to war, especially preventive military attacks or "preemption," and the conduct of war, especially the bombing of "dual-use" infrastructure like electricity-generating facilities.

Shue was a founding member of the Executive Committee of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics. He also co-founded of the Institute for Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of Maryland. Until 2002, he was the inaugural Wyn and William Y. Hutchinson Professor of Ethics and Public Life and director of the Program on Ethics and Public Life at Cornell University.

The UI Office of the Provost sponsors the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program. The UI Center for Human Rights, International Programs, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Departments of English, Geology, History, and Philosophy, the College of Engineering, and the College of Law are also sponsoring Shue's visit.

The UI established the Ida Cordelia Beam Distinguished Visiting Professorships Program in 1978-79 based on a bequest from the late Ida Beam of Vinton, Iowa, who willed her family farm to the UI Foundation. The proceeds from the farm's sale enabled the UI to establish a fund that brings top scholars in a variety of fields to the university for lectures and discussions.

The UICHR is affiliated with International Programs, which enables University of Iowa students, faculty, staff and the public to learn from and about the world. Its offices, degree programs and events provide life-changing opportunities on campus and abroad, heighten intellectual and cultural diversity, and give all university constituents access to vital international knowledge. For more information visit or call 319-353-2700. International Programs is part of the Office of the Provost.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: Liz Crooks, UICHR, 319-335-3900,; Kelli Andresen, International Programs, 319-335-2026,; Writer: Lini Ge