Morality and IR
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Definition of moral foreign policy
when a state commits resources for reasons other than altruism
- Ethics are entirely secondary
- Primacy of self interest over moral principle
- Realists put the role of the state first which is survival in an international system that is inherently anarchic
- Very low trust in international institutions and their ability to mitigate the negative effects of anarchy
Realism follows the principle of
existence of Moral FP?
- (moral considerations play close to no role)
- But realists do not deny the existence of moral foreign policy
- However argue they only seem morally motivated - second intent
- ie to improve international reputation
Moral foreign policy immoral?
classic realists argue conducting FP on grounds of anything other than self interest is misguided
Immoral as primary concern is to survive
- individual is central to the liberal paradigm (and their rights and freedoms)
- more trust in human ability to mitigate negative effects of anarchy
- places strong emphasis on international institutions and international co-operation
- believes humans are able to act morally and perceive it as their responsibility
- evolutionist belief that ethical behaviour can spread progressively to all humans
- Hoffman in "Duties Beyond Borders"
- combines concerns over freedom of individuals in a state (national liberalism) with concerns over all human beings (cosmopolitan liberalism)
the fact that we are all human leads to a connection that transcends territorial boundries
criticism of Hoffman's liberal internationalism
- goes against Westphalian concept of the state
- (defined by its territorial boundries that must be secured)
- also against the Westphalian state concept: the principle of non-interference
- (states must not interfere with domestic issues of another state)
definition of humanitarian intervention
to alleviate human suffering but through the use of military force against a state
concept of "Just War"
Hoffman's theory of morally justified armed intervention builds on the concept of "Just War" theory - ethically acceptable
eg Tony Blair doctrine on military intervention in Kosovo 1999
- Blair doctrine resonates with Hoffman's idea of liberal internationalism
- that situationscan arise when it is necessary to override principles of state sovereignty to pursue univeralist liberal interest
Hoffman argues if a state fails to protect its own citizens it is a legitimate case for humanitarian intervention
doctrine suggests protection of human lives override the principles of sovereignty including the right to territorial integrity and non interference
Barnett R2P and example
- doctrine has become more prominent in IR
- eg Libya 2011 no fly zone
- But motives questionable behind Libyan intervention...,.
- highlighted questionable nature of what ultimately resulted in a regime change
Why is R2P so contentious?
- challenges fundamental Westphalian principles
- Raises questions how "humanitarian" motives can be distinguished from non-ethical motives eg greed, strive for regional power
- potential abuse - could frame as "humanitarian"
- inconsistency in how R2P is interpreted - international community feels responsible "sometimes" eg Libya but not Syria?
"Part humanitarian" actions
Governments (notably the Bush administration) have started addressing actions as part humanitarian
eg Irag 2003 and Afghanistan (both had no UN mandate - unlawful) framed post-hoc as R2P
called Liberal Realism (odd) power oriented, interest maximising realism that uses liberal ideas to attain goals
damaged R2P norms and undermined credibility
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