Michael Robillard

Michael Robillard
  • University of Oxford
  • Research Fellow at the Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics
  • Faculty Fellow (2020-2021)
  • “Privacy, Social Knowledge, and Accountability: Building Trustworthy Institutions in the Age of Big Data”

Michael Robillard is a research fellow at the University of Oxford’s Uehiro Center for Practical Ethics as part of the European Research Council Advanced Grant on collective responsibility and global terrorism. As a former U.S. Army officer and Iraq war veteran, his research focuses on a variety of contemporary issues within moral and political philosophy, just war theory, and philosophy of technology.

Dr. Robillard is the co-author of Outsourcing Duty: On the Moral Exploitation of the American Soldier (Oxford University Press, forthcoming) as well as the co-editor of Who Should Die?: The Ethics of Killing in War (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is also the author of several influential scholarly articles within the areas of just war, military ethics, and philosophy of technology to include articles in the Journal of Applied Ethics, Public Affairs Quarterly, and the Journal of Military Ethics. He also has several popular editorial articles concerning artificial intelligence as well as free speech in academia in Aeon, Quillette, and the New York Times.

Prior to his time at Notre Dame, Dr. Robillard was a junior research fellow at Oxford’s Linacre College as well as a former resident research fellow at the Stockdale Center for Ethical Leadership at the United States Naval Academy. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne, Australia National University, University of Pennsylvania, Georgetown University, the University of Stockholm, the University of Oslo, and the Naval Postgraduate School. In addition to being an Iraq War veteran, he is also a United States Military Academy graduate and former Army Ranger.


  • Outsourcing Duty: The Moral Exploitation of the American Soldier

    Oxford University Press, 2022

    Michael Robillard

    Robillard Outsourcing Duty Crop

    Are contemporary soldiers exploited by the state and society that they defend? More specifically, have America's professional service members disproportionately carried the moral weight of America's war-fighting decisions since the inception of an all-volunteer force? In this volume, Michael J. Robillard and Bradley J. Strawser, who have both served in the military, examine the question of whether and how American soldiers have been exploited in this way.

    Robillard and Strawser offer an original normative theory of 'moral exploitation'--the notion that persons or groups can be wrongfully exploited by being made to shoulder an excessive amount of moral weight. They make the case that this exploitation accurately describes the relationship between the United States and the members of its military, and offer a thorough and in-depth analysis of some of the exploitative and misleading elements of present-day military recruitment, the moral burdens soldiers often bear, and the stifling effect that a 'Thank You for Your Service' and 'I support the troops' culture has had on serious public engagement about America's ongoing wars. Robillard and Strawser offer a piercing critique of the pernicious divide between military members and the civilians who direct them. They conclude by arguing for several normative and prudential prescriptions to help close this ever-widening fissure between the U.S. and its military, and within the U.S. itself. In so doing, their work gives a much needed and urgent voice to America's soldiers, the other 1%.

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