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My work addresses normative questions related to war and mass
atrocity. Find brief summaries of key publications & links to selected 
below, or see my current C.V. 

Unconscionable Crimes: How Norms Explain and Constrain Mass Atrocities

MIT Press, September 2020 


Presents the first general theory of the influence of norms on genocide and mass atrocity. Addresses outstanding problems of explanation and prevention posed by large-scale crimes. Employs primary sources consulted at the Fortunoff Archive, the Wiener Library, the Bodleian Library, and elsewhere. Website   Introduction

Listen to my podcast with New Books in Philosophy host Bob Talisse 

Read my interview with political scientist Alexandra Budabin

Articles and Book Chapters


The Meaning of Mass Atrocity Beyond Our Moral Fate

Analyse & Kritik, 2020

Asks what the historical record of mass atrocities can tell us about the prospects for durable moral progress in human societies. Focuses particular attention on philosopher Allen Buchanan's recent monograph, Our Moral Fate.


Naturalizing the Centennial: History, Memory, and the Limits of Human Lifespans

Memory Studies, 2020


Provides a naturalistic account of centennials based on upper limits to human lifespans. Shows how these limits

explain centennials' key functions as standards of greatness, mirrors of progress, and spurs to renovation. Considers how centennial practices might change in a future age of extended longevity. View Abstract


Identity-Directed Norm Transformations and Moral Progress

Journal of Value Inquiry, 2019


Analyzes the relationship between identity-instituting and identity-vindicating norm transformations. Draws on archival sources to show that such transformations can provide both

evidence of, and mechanisms for, moral progress. Get Paper


Contingent Pacifism

Routledge Handbook of Pacifism and Nonviolence, 2018


Defends a contingent pacifist position towards personal participation in war. Critiques the

account of individual decision-making about prospective military service offered in L.A. Paul's 

Transformative Experience, and provides an alternative analysis of the moral and epistemic conditions

for this choice. View Abstract


A Theory of Atrocity Propaganda 

Humanity, 2018 


Develops a novel theory of atrocity propaganda rooted in C.L. Stevenson's notion of persuasive

definition. Explains how accusations of engaging in atrocity propagandizing can themselves serve

propagandistic purposes, and outlines strategies for defusing this threat. Get Paper


Are Holocaust Museums Unique? 

Philosophy, 2016


Argues that Holocaust museums are comparable to other kinds of museums in their selection

of exhibits, strategies for educating patrons, and reliance on professional/artifactual networks. View Abstract


The Thesis of Norm Transformation in the Theory of Mass Atrocity 

Genocide Studies and Prevention, 2015 


Clarifies and defends claim that changes in norms are central the explanation and prevention of genocide and other mass atrocities. Considers the evaluative implications of this thesis. Get Paper


Mass Atrocity and Manipulation of Social Norms 

Social Theory and Practice, 2014 


Assesses means by which manipulation of social norms may help encourage, or alternatively deter, individual participation in mass atrocity. Provides detailed discussion of the historical case of Nazi language rules. Get Paper






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