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David Whetham is Professor of Ethics and the Military Profession in the Defence Studies Department of King’s College London. He is the Director of the King’s Centre for Military Ethics and delivers or coordinates the military ethics component of courses for between two and three thousand British and international officers a year at the UK’s Joint Services Command and Staff College. Before joining King’s as a permanent member fo staff in 2003, David worked as a BBC researcher and with the OSCE in Kosovo, supporting the 2001 and 2002 elections.

David supports military ethics education in many different countries and has held Visiting Fellowships at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership, US Naval Academy Annapolis, the Centre for Defence Leadership and Ethics at the Australian Defence College in Canberra and at the University of Glasgow. He was a Mid Career Fellow at the British Academy in 2017-18 and is currently a Visiting Professorial Fellow at the University of New South Wales. David is the Vice President and founding member of the European Chapter of the International Society for Military Ethics (Euro ISME).

David is married with two children, and in his spare time he plays trombone with the 41º Big Band.


Research Interests

  • Ethical Dimensions of Warfare
  • Just War Tradition
  • Development of the Laws of War
  • Ethics and Technology
  • Development of Strategic Thought
  • Professional Military Ethics Education and Training



While Professor Whetham provides PhD supervision in areas relating to the ethics or morality of conflict, he is not currently taking on any additional students.



  • Ethics, Law and Military Operations (Palgrave, 2010)
  • Just Wars and Moral Victories (Brill, 2009)
  • When Soldiers Say No: Selective Conscientious Objection in the Modern Military with Andrea Ellner & Paul Robinson (Eds), (Ashgate: 2014).

For a full list of publications please see Prof David Whetham's PURE Profile