Ethical Foreign Policy?: US Humanitarian Interventions, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Ethical Foreign Policy?

US Humanitarian Interventions, 1st Edition

By Chih-Hann Chang


198 pages

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While the 1990s gave rise to a wealth of literature on the notion of ethical foreign policy, it has tended to simply focus on a version of realism, which overlooks the role of ethics in international affairs, lacking an empirical analysis of foreign policy decision-making, with relation to ethical values in the post-Cold War period. This book addresses this gap in the literature by exploring ethical realism as a theoretical framework and, in particular, by looking at US humanitarian interventions at an empirical level to analyse ethical foreign policy in practice. Furthermore, it moves beyond the debate on legality or legitimacy of humanitarian interventions and focuses on whether a state would intervene for humanitarian purposes. Chang provides a deeper understanding of ethical foreign policy in theory and practice by applying ethical realism as a theoretical framework to evaluate the Clinton administration's foreign policy on humanitarian intervention. She addresses concepts of moral leadership and pragmatic foreign policy in the field of international relations in general and foreign policy analysis in particular.


'Chih-Hann Chang’s study of the influence of ethical realism on President Clinton’s foreign policy is a revealing account of the debates within his administration over the use of military force in support of humanitarian interventions overseas. It is a timely reminder of how domestic political pressures, strategic considerations and the need to maintain credibility combine to influence presidential decision making. Based on interviews with those involved and on extensive archival research, this is essential reading for anyone interested in how American foreign policy is made.' Jon Roper, Swansea University, UK

About the Series

Ethics and Global Politics

Ethics and Global Politics
Since the end of the Cold War, explorations of ethical considerations within global politics and on the development of foreign policy have assumed a growing importance in the fields of politics and international studies. New theories, policies, institutions, and actors are called for to address difficult normative questions arising from the conduct of international affairs in a rapidly changing world. This series provides an exciting new forum for creative research that engages both the theory and practice of contemporary world politics, in light of the challenges and dilemmas of the evolving international order.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights