Meet the McNair Scholar: Zantana Ephrem

A lot of people select light reading in the summertime, but not UNLV undergraduate Zantana Ephrem. Instead, she hunkered down with the United Nations Charter.

The McNair scholar, a double major in economics and philosophy with a concentration in law and justice, is also pursuing a Brookings Public law small. She invested the previous couple of months exploring a simply war theory justification for the assassination of totalitarians. She prepares to study peace and conflict in Israel in the upcoming year, with support from a Boren Scholarship provided through the United States Department of Defense. That will lead her to a compulsory one-year task in U.S. national security afterwards.

Here, Ephrem shares some of the ethical considerations her research study embodies in addition to how coming to grips with these considerations is preparing her for the future.

Can we avoid deaths, wars, and all the other atrocities committed by totalitarians and bad political actors? And is assassination the tool that enables us to achieve this?

I’m asking these concerns through my research.

There is nothing in the UN Charter that validates humanitarian interventions, but it has been more or less accepted that the UN is allowed to do that if it pleases. So, should the UN perform the assassination of a dictator to prevent more large-scale atrocities?

My argument is that humanitarian assassinations should be an ethically enabled choice. My conclusion is driven by research-based thinking and validations. I’ve been familiarizing myself with the UN Charter and previous actions the UN has actually taken. And considering that global law also plays a role in decisions around this subject, I have actually read a great deal of worldwide criminal lawsuit and statutes, studying previous assassinations, and familiarizing myself with previous government actions also.

Today I’m coming to grips with that there is no genuine way to forecast the fall of any totalitarian or leader or the repercussions of such a fall when it occurs. We have actually seen that formerly when the United States or other Western country has gotten included with a smaller sized, poorer developing nation’s affairs. Even when made with the best of intentions, this type of intervention in some cases produces an “from the frying pan, into the fire” type of scenario. I’m attempting to determine how to prevent that, and if we can’t, the best ways to lessen the risk.

It’s a hard topic. People’s lives are at threat, one method or another. A nation’s security is at danger. I may be grappling with this type of situation in the future, so I’m grateful for this research experience. It’s nice to have the luxury of assuming before needing to make a real-life decision.

My research study isn’t about being in a laboratory. It’s about talking to my research coach, UNLV philosophy professor-in-residence Abigail Aguilar, and bouncing ideas off of her; reading; speaking to other approach and political science students; and sitting around thinking until I reach a conclusion that I think would be an ethical action. What would I do if I remained in a position of power and needed to choose how to handle an autocrat?

Believe it or not, I actually had no interest in research study when I first began. Now I definitely do.

The McNair Program provided me with an incredible chance to look into my topic and get research study experience before graduate school. It’s fantastic for undergraduates. We’re compensated for our research study, and they release it in the McNair Journal. They hold research study workshops throughout the school year, offer GRE prep, and offer us with the timelines we ought to follow for using to grad school.

My guidance to other undergrads is to get associated with as lots of things as you can and try whatever. The best experiences aren’t always the ones that show you exactly what you love. They can likewise be the ones that show you something that you dislike, and after that you understand exactly what you selected really isn’t really the field for you. That, in turn, brings you one action more detailed to finding out exactly what you do want to do.

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