Pauline M. Shanks Kaurin, Ph.D.

Professor College of Leadership and Ethics
Pauline M Shanks Kaurin profile image


Pauline Shanks Kaurin is professor and Admiral James B. Stockdale Chair in Professional Military Ethics. She holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from Temple University and specializes in military ethics, “just war theory” and philosophy of law and applied ethics. She is author of “On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for Military, Community and Citizenry” and “Achilles Goes Asymmetrical: The Warrior, Military Ethics and Contemporary Warfare.” She served as a contributor for The Strategy Bridge and has published in War on the Rocks, Clear Defense, The Wavell Room, Grounded Curiosity, Newsweek and Just Security. She is a member and serves on the board of directors for the Military Writers Guild.

Areas of Expertise

  • Civil-Military Relations
  • Ethics
  • Irregular Warfare
  • Leadership
  • Vietnam War

Professional Highlights



"On Obedience: Contrasting Philosophies for Military, Citizenry and Community", USNI Press, 2020

Stockdale Chair in Professional Military Ethics

Joined College of Leadership and Ethics


Ph.D., Temple University, Philosophy

M.A., University of Manitoba, Philosophy

B.A., Concordia College, Philosophy and International Relations

C.V. or Resume

Research Contributions and Publications


Military Ethics

Military Professionalism

Moral Injury

Moral Agency, Promising and My Lai

Leadership and Ethics

Philosophy and Race

David Hume

Philosophy of Law/International Law

Strategy and Ethics

Just War Thinking

Asymmetric War

Moral Education and Professional Military Education

Narrative Theory and Case studies

Military Honor

External Memberships and Associations

International Society for Military Ethics

Society for Public Philosophy in America

Material and external links contained herein are made available for the purpose of peer review and discussion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Naval War College, Department of the Navy or the Department of Defense.