Ethics and Foreign Policy by Karen E. Smith, Margot Light

By Karen E. Smith, Margot Light

Governments now face advanced dilemmas in regards to the merchandising of human rights, the punishment of crimes opposed to humanity, and the scope for humanitarian intervention. This booklet deals a theoretical and empirical research of those concerns. The individuals discover the which means of "ethical overseas coverage" and view strength or real tools of moral international policy-making. ultimately, 3 case reports research extra heavily advancements within the overseas regulations of the united states, the U.K., and the eu Union, to evaluate the problems raised through the incorporation of moral issues into overseas coverage.

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Extra resources for Ethics and Foreign Policy

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The nature of ethical conduct When we describe someone’s behaviour as ‘ethical’, we are generally attempting to convey the idea that they are behaving in accordance with some kind of moral principle. Two possible problems have to be cleared away before we can examine what this might mean. First, there are, of course, social theories, most obviously Marxism, which deny the existence of moral principle and of ethical conduct altogether; the use of such terms is taken to be hypocritical or the product of ‘false consciousness’ – although it is possible to identify clusters of attitudes which might be termed, say, ‘bourgeois morality’, these amount to no more than a set of rationalisations – and therefore to characterise someone’s behaviour as ethical would be either meaningless, or intended ironically (Lukes, 1985; Brown, 1992b).

For some, ethical behaviour means behaviour in accordance with a set of moral rules (‘deontology’); such rules might be accessible by reason alone, on the basis of an account of what is required for human flourishing (natural law); or they might be, as it were, wired into the way in which we think about the world (the case for Kant’s ‘Categorical Imperative’, which tells us to act in such a way that our behaviour could form the basis for a universal law, and to avoid treating human beings solely as means rather than as ends); or they might be the product of divine revelation (such as the Ten Commandments); or produced by convention, for example via a (fictional) contract (Foot, 1967; Norman, 1983).

Certainly such an attitude would hardly be taken as indicative of ‘mutual respect’; on the contrary, it would be regarded as showing great disrespect for the beliefs of others. Indeed, 5 In Brown (2000) I offer a more extended commentary on these ideas. Ethics, interests and foreign policy 29 Muslim leaders are quite frequently accused of displaying just such disrespect, by, for example, taking advantage of liberal Christian gestures towards ecumenicism without reciprocating. Mr Cook would doubtless insist that his ‘demand’ was based on the requirements of the current international human rights regime and thus different – but it is precisely the nature of this regime that critics of Western universalism contest.

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