The Ethics of Foreign Policy: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Ethics of Foreign Policy

1st Edition

By David B. MacDonald, Robert G. Patman


266 pages

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Hardback: 9780754643777
pub: 2007-07-28
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eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315616179
pub: 2016-03-23
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This ground-breaking volume considers the ethical aspects of foreign policy change through five interrelated dimensions: conceptual, security, economic, normative and diplomatic. Defining ethics and what an ethical foreign policy should be is highly contested. The book includes many very different viewpoints to reflect the strong divergence of opinion on such issues as humanitarian intervention, free trade, the doctrine of preemption, political corruption and human rights. The thematic approach provides this volume with a clear organizational structure, giving readers a balanced overview of a number of important conceptual and practical issues central to the ethical analysis of states' conduct and foreign policy making. An impressive group of international scholars and practitioners, including a New Zealand Foreign Minister, a US National Security Advisor, and an ICJ Justice, makes this volume ideally suited to courses on international relations, security studies, ethics and human rights, philosophy, media studies and international law.


'Addresses a central issue of our time - whether in a globalized world any country can consistently pursue an ethical foreign policy. The international team of academics and practitioners do not always agree on what ethics are, still less how to reconcile them with national interests, but they do show clearly why they can never be ignored.' Peter Calvert, University of Southampton, UK '…a ground-breaking attempt to examine the ethical aspects of foreign policy. It exposes the inadequacy of realism and questions the ethical legitimacy of national interest as a benchmark to foreign policy.' The Round Table

About the Authors

David B. Macdonald, University of Guelph, Canada, Robert G. Patman and Betty Mason-Parker both from the Department of Political Studies at the University of Otago, New Zealand.

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 / International Relations / General