Annual Conference 2024: What makes European military ethics distinctive?
Venue: Tallinn, Estonia
Date: 22-24 May 2024
Download Call for Papers as PDF here ¦ Submissions are now closed.
Euro-ISME was created specifically to be a European forum for the promotion of both theoretical and applied military ethics. This was partly a response to a belief that a pan-European view of military ethics was distinctive and therefore needed to be evaluated and debated as widely as possible.
The ethical codes of most European armed forces are broadly similar, well-articulated and reinforced by sound training programmes. It has therefore proved difficult to define a definitive ‘European’ view that goes beyond seeking a lowest common denominator solution.
Furthermore, there are strong similarities to the ‘European’ view in the approaches to military ethics taken by countries as geographically distinct as the USA, Canada and Australia. Indeed, the key texts used by many European institutions for teaching are written by authors from those countries.
So is it therefore correct to talk about a ‘European’ view, or should we think in terms of a view that is common to many democratic developed countries and is independent of geography, even if there is a shared root in European philosophical and religious traditions?
We should also consider how such a view differs from other identifiably different views of military ethics. For example, such as Chinese, with its Confucian roots, Muslim with theocratic roots, Jewish with its Rabbinical roots, African with roots in traditional Ubuntu teachings and others and whether those differences matter.
What, if anything, does this mean for the conduct of future military operations? And what does it mean for the political appreciation of just cause, risk and necessity when leaders must decide whether to enter armed or other forms of conflict?
These questions were already assuming heightened relevance in the light of both Russia and China’s demonstrated antipathy to the established liberal world order and their desire to assert their influence within what they see as their own spheres of influence. The consequences of this approach for the avoidance, conduct and resolution of conflict at the strategic level are clear. But within this turbulent defence and security framework, can we assume that the primacy of just war doctrine as the yardstick for assessing the moral justification for conflict will be both universal and permanent?
These considerations are assuming even greater significance with the outbreak of a second war – between Israel and Hamas – a conflict riven with profound ethical issues, on Europe’s doorstep.
We should therefore anticipate a robust challenge to the traditional just war centric view of military ethics. This is a question that will be of importance for the world. It would therefore be a good starting point to define not only whether the European view of military ethics is indeed distinctive, and if it is, to learn its relevance to address the types of crises that we are now facing. and how best to defend it against the coming challenges.
Dates and venue
The conference will take place in Tallinn, Estonia.
On the eve of the conference, Tuesday May 21st, 2024 we will have an informal reception for all conference participants and their partners in the picturesque old inner city of Tallinn. The actual conference will take place at the Hotel Nordic Forum just outside the inner city of Tallinn; both locations are within a walking distance of each other. The conference will begin on Wednesday morning May 22nd, and it will end on Friday May 24th, around lunch time.
Tallinn is itself a popular venue for both tourists as well as other conferences and their participants. Thus, persons planning to participate in EuroISME’s conference are advised to book their hotel rooms at their earliest convenience. Hotels for which EuroISME has received a booking code with the possibility of a discount for participants, are:
- Nordic Hotel Forum**** https://www.nordichotels.eu/en/. The Nordic Hotel Forum offers a 20% discount on the daily rate to attendees of the ISME Annual Conference 2024. This discount is applicable for stays between May 20th and May 27th, 2024. Bookings can be made directly via online link choosing “ISME 2024 Special” or contacting us via e-mail
- Hotel Tallink City**** https://hotels.tallink.com/tallink-city-hotel, standard room, one person, three nights € 99,- per night, booking code EUROISME24
- Hotel Tallink Spa**** https://hotels.tallink.com/tallink-spa-conference-hotel, standard room, one person, three nights € 99,- per night, booking code EUROISME24
Please be advised that, if you book a room with the booking code and cancel later, then any potential cancellation fees charged by the hotel will be yours, not EuroISME’s. All discounts offered are subject to availability.
- A cheaper hotel, also within a walking distance of the conference venue and adjacent to Hotel Tallink Spa, is: Hotel Tallink Express*** https://hotels.tallink.com/tallink-express-hotel We do not have a booking code for this hotel.
All members of EuroISME’s audience are invited to submit a paper on the above-mentioned conference theme. Given the increasing number of submissions which EuroISME receives for its annual conferences, and also given limitations of time & space, our policy for submissions is as follows. The following submissions are welcomed:
- Professional submissions. This concerns submissions of both the military (active or retired) or academics. The submissions are 850-1000 words (that is two or three pages) in length. These submissions need to give: 1) discuss the societal relevance of the proposed topic; 2) a definition of the research problem; and 3) a summary of conclusions. For academics, we appreciate a description of the research method. Professional submissions will be given a right of priority if the number of submissions received exceeds the number of time-slots available.
- Full panel submissions. We define a panel session as a time-slot of 90 minutes. A panel has preferably 3, though a maximum of 4, presentations, to be followed by some 20 minutes for questions and answers. Such panels need to consist of persons of at least two different nationalities, and the Programme Committee will maintain this rule. With three presentations, each presenter has 20 minutes (15 minutes with 4 presentations). A full panel submission will contain the submissions of each of the panellists plus the title of the full panel and the Point of Contact on behalf of that panel. A full panel submission should be made by means of a comprehensive email, which includes all the presentation which will be made in that panel. At request, EuroISME can assist in seeking a moderator or a presenter for a near-complete panel proposal.
- Brief submissions. Submissions of 250-350 words will be welcomed by the Programme Committee in much the same way as in previous years. If, however, the number of submissions received is greater than the number of time-slots available, a preference will be given to professional submissions and full panel submissions.
- Student’s submissions/poster session. EuroISME specifically invites cadets, midshipmen and civilian students (Executive Masters or Academic Masters) to submit. This may concern: (1) a submission on research which has been recently concluded, but also (2) on on-going research, whereby the author would appreciate receive input from the audience. During the poster session, each selected student will receive 10 minutes to present his/her research to the plenary. Subsequently, each student will be offered a corner in the conference hall, where they can – literally with the poster which summarises their research – can engage interested members of the audience and solicit their advice. Student’s submissions will be 250 words in length. The authors are strongly encouraged to have a large sheet of paper, perhaps from a flip-over, (approx. size A2) plus crayons or markers in various colours available during the conference.
All submissions shall be made in the English language. No simultaneous interpretation will be available.
All submissions shall contain, at the top of the front page: the name, rank, and title of the author(s), plus the institution to which they are affiliated, plus contact details. They will also state in which category of submission the author intends to fit.
The deadline for submissions was February 1st, 2024.
Please register via the online form available at https://www.euroisme.eu/index.php/en/registration-tallinn
Assistance with travel costs
EuroISME has a limited budget available for prospective presenters at our conference, who cannot attend for financial reasons. Details concerning the application for financial assistance can be found here https://euroisme.eu/images/Documents/EuroISME_Criteria_funding_travelcosts.pdf. Applicants shall bear in mind that all applications must be made before the deadline for submissions expires: 1 February 2024. Applicants will be informed of the decision by EuroISME whether the application has been accepted.
Visa and travel restrictions
Estonia is an EU member and part of the Schengen Area. Conference participants from outside the Schengen Area who need a formal invitation from EuroISME to apply for a visa, are advised to contact Ms. Ivana Gošić (
All participants are urged to check the COVID-19 regulations before travelling.
When the dates of the conference draw nearer, all registered conference participants will receive an information package plus joining instructions.