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Ethics and Foreign Policy


Part of LSE Monographs in International Studies

  • Editors:
  • Karen E. Smith, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Margot Light, London School of Economics and Political Science
Karen E. Smith, Margot Light, Chris Brown, Mervyn Frost, Molly Cochran, Margo Picken, Spyros Economides, Karin Fierke, Christopher Coker, Tim Dunne, Nicholas Wheeler
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  • Date Published: September 2001
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521804158

$ 118.00

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About the Authors
  • The promotion of human rights, the punishment of crimes against humanity, the use of force with respect to humanitarian intervention: these are some of the complex issues facing governments in recent years. The contributors to this book offer a theoretical and empirical approach to these issues. Three leading normative theorists first explore what an 'ethical foreign policy' means. Four contributors then look at potential or actual instruments of ethical foreign policy-making: the export of democracy, non-governmental organisations, the International Criminal Court, and bottom-up public pressure on governments. Finally, three case studies examine more closely developments in the foreign policies of the US, the UK, and the European Union, to assess the difficulties raised by the incorporation of ethical considerations into foreign policy.

    • Study of what an ethical foreign policy might mean, and whether it is being pursued in reality
    • Leading scholars look at both the theory and the practice of ethical foreign policy
    • Includes detailed studies of US, UK and EU foreign policy
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Through a series of insightful, succinct, and thought-provoking reflections on the meaning and importance of ethics in foreign policy, this volume combines sophisticated elaboration of historical and theoretical ideas with an intriguing snapshot of the landscape of current issues and events. While explicitly adopting the stance of a foreign policy analyst rather than that of an ethical theorist, the book has managed to successfully balance the theoretical with the concrete, and has kept ethical complexities accessible to a wide audience.' Rosalind Irwin, Millenium: Journal of International Studies

    'This book makes an important contribution to the growing literature on ethics and international affairs.' International Affairs

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2001
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521804158
    • length: 236 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Karen E. Smith and Margot Light
    Part I. Theories:
    1. Ethics, interests and foreign policy Chris Brown
    2. The ethics of humanitarian intervention: protecting civilians to make democratic citizenship possible Mervyn Frost
    3. A pragmatic perspective on ethical foreign policy Molly Cochran
    Part II. Instruments and Policies:
    4. Exporting democracy Margot Light
    5. Ethical foreign policies and human rights: dilemmas for non-governmental organisations Margo Picken
    6. The international criminal court Spyros Economides
    7. Constructing an ethical foreign policy: analysis and practice from below Karin Fierke
    Part III. Case Studies:
    8. The United States and the ethics of post-modern war Christopher Coker
    9. Blair's Britain: a force for good in the world? Tim Dunne and Nicholas Wheeler
    10. The EU, human rights and relations with third countries: 'foreign policy' with an ethical dimension? Karen E. Smith.

  • Editors

    Karen E. Smith, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Karen E. Smith is Lecturer in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Her publications include The Making of EU Foreign Policy: The Case of Eastern Europe (1999) and co-editor (with Christopher Hill) of European Foreign Policy: Key Documents (2000).

    Margot Light, London School of Economics and Political Science
    Margot Light is Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics. She is co-editor (with A. J. R. Groom) of Contemporary International Relations: A Guide to Theory (1994) and co-author (with Neil Malcolm, Alex Pravda and Roy Allison) of International Factors in Russian Foreign Policy (1996).


    Karen E. Smith, Margot Light, Chris Brown, Mervyn Frost, Molly Cochran, Margo Picken, Spyros Economides, Karin Fierke, Christopher Coker, Tim Dunne, Nicholas Wheeler

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