Disobeying Suicidal Orders

  • Jean-François CaronEmail author


When we think about World War I, we often imagine soldiers leaving their trenches to be mowed down in the no man’s land by enemy artillery or machine guns. This begs the question whether soldiers have the obligation to obey what can be labelled as ‘suicidal orders’. This chapter argues not only that such orders would be in breach of the military’s obligation of care for its members, but also that soldiers’ right to refuse to follow suicidal orders is defendable based on many of their professional prerogatives.


Suicidal orders Dangerous orders Heroism Positional duty Pre-emptive disobedience 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science and International RelationsNazarbayev UniversityAstanaKazakhstan

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