Jack Amoureux


Associate Teaching Professor

Office: Kirby 309
Phone: 758-2314
Email: amourejl@wfu

Areas of Expertise: Ethics in World Politics; Security and US Foreign Policy; Global Governance; Theories of International Relations; Reflexivity; Technology and War; Time and Space in IR


Jack Amoureux is an Associate Teaching Professor at Wake Forest University. His areas of interest cover ethics in world politics, security and US foreign policy, global governance, and international relations theory.  He also specializes in the theory and scholarship of Aristotle, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault. Amoureux’s specific topics of investigation include reflexivity, notions of time and space, whistleblowing and other tactics of ethical agency, foreign policy leadership, violence and war-fighting, emerging technologies of war, the role of non-state actors in the just war tradition, and narratives of Anthropocene.  Amoureux published A Practice of Ethics for Global Politics: Ethical Reflexivity and he is the co-editor (with Brent J. Steele) of Reflexivity in International Relations: Positionality, Critique and Practice. Amoureux has also published in International Relations, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, and International Theory, along with chapters in edited volumes. Amoureux is on the editorial board of the Journal of Narrative Politics and the Governing Council of the International Studies Association – Northeast.


B.S. Boise State University, 1999
M.P.A. Boise State University, 2001
M.A. University of Iowa, 2002
Ph.D. Brown University, 2011

Academic Appointments

Associate Teaching Professor, Wake Forest University, 2019-present
Visiting Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University, 2012-2013, 2017-2018
Teacher/Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow, Wake Forest University, 2013-2017
Part-Time Assistant Professor, Wake Forest University, 2011-2012
Assistant Professor (term), American University, School of International Service, 2010-2011




POL 269 Agency and Ethics: Aristotle, Arendt, and Foucault

In this course we will examine the question of what it means to be an agent and to exercise ethical agency through the work of three theorists: Aristotle, Hannah Arendt, and Michel Foucault.  In addition to their theoretical arguments about ethical judgment and its political and social context, we will be especially interested in Arendt’s coverage of the Eichmann trial for The New Yorker, Foucault’s interviews on the political issues of his day such as the Iranian revolution and sexual politics, and the examples Aristotle gave of ethical judgment and the obligations of speaker and audience.  To consider some of the contemporary challenges to ethical agency in the context of organizational and political cultures we’ll read The Interrogator: An Education by Glenn Carle, a former CIA officer involved in the interrogation of a man identified as a ‘High Valued Target’ in the War on Terror, and The Politics of Exile by Elizabeth Dauphinee, who has written on the ethics of research.

POL 264 Ethical Dilemmas in International Politics

This class equips students with the conceptual and theoretical tools to identify ethical dilemmas in global politics and foreign policy decisions, inquire into how ethics has been attended to, and consider how practices and traditions of ethics might be transformed. The issues we will examine include: development, foreign aid and global distributive justice; when and how to conduct war; human rights and humanitarian intervention; weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons; non-state actors and violence; whistleblowing and individual responsibility; trauma and the challenges of societal healing; punishment and justice; and the role of technology and simulation in international conflict. In examining these issues we will be attentive to the relationship between power, interests, and normative beliefs.

POL 256 International Security

In this class we learn about and interrogate an array of approaches to security in world politics.  We ask several questions and engage a variety of historical and contemporary texts.  When we speak of security who is secured? What do we mean by the concept of security and how is it a contested concept? What are security’s institutions and practices? What are the times and spaces of security? How does security discourse and practice constitute self and other? Does security preclude, allow or necessitate ethics? Should we abandon security? In answering these questions we focus not just on war, but on a variety of objects and notions that have been ‘securitized’ including health, economics, gender, and information.

POL 252 Human Rights

This course explores the politics and theory of international human rights. We begin the course by asking whether we can speak of human rights as universal or as relative to culture. We then explore the politics of defining an international norm of human rights, considering Western proposals and their challengers. We survey the successes and failures of human rights global governance, including the emergence and institutionalization of a human rights norm, responsiveness to gross violations of human rights such as genocide, and efforts to punish human rights violators through ad hoc courts and the International Criminal Court. Drawing on a variety of historical and contemporary cases we examine the role of states, NGOs and international organizations in the promotion and enforcement of human rights. Finally, we consider how well theories of International Relations explain the politics of human rights. Some of the topics covered include genocide, labor practices and development, torture, humanitarian intervention, the rights of women and children, and the International Criminal Court.

POL 116 International Politics

This course serves as an introduction to many of the theories, concepts, issues and problems found in the academic study of international politics.  We will trace the historical emergence of the states system and its major characteristics, entertain various explanations of violence and economic inequality in the world, address the importance of identity and difference for politics, and inquire into how well states have addressed environmental challenges that threaten to overwhelm possibilities for cooperation.

POL 115 Political Theory
Introduces the central concepts (democracy liberty, equality, and power) and ideologies (liberalism, conservatism, and socialism) as they have been formulated within some of the main schools of political thought.

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