Ethical Considerations: Law, Foreign Policy, and the War on Terror This booklet contains a speech by Alberto Mora, who fought to halt policies that authorized cruel and illegal interrogations of detainees; a torture debate timeline; discussion questions; and recommended resources.
The Nuclear Dilemma: The Greatest Moral Problem of All Time | 02/27/15 "We all know that we are the first generation of humans since Genesis that can totally destroy the human species and make our beautiful planet uninhabitable." In this 1998 talk which is sadly still all too relevant, Hesburgh laments the nuclear arms race between the U.S. and the USSR, and proposes practical steps towards reducing the nuclear arsenal.
Human Rights and Asian Values | 05/15/14 Human rights are neither a uniquely Western phenomenon nor a hindrance to economic development, the charges usually leveled against those who seek to implement human rights in Asia. In this valuable 1997 lecture, Amartya Sen points to intellectual strands within Asian thought that value human rights.
The New Dimensions of Human Rights | 05/13/14 "The interface between ethics and science will hence be the new frontier of politics—the third new dimension of human rights," warns Zbigniew Brzezinski in this 1995 lecture. Increasingly, politics is likely to be dominated by ethical dilemmas stimulated by science's potential for reshaping the very nature of the human being.
Ethical Considerations: Law, Foreign Policy, and The War on Terror | 11/02/06 Former Navy General Counsel Alberto Mora fought to stop policies that authorized cruelty toward terror suspects. "Cruelty harms our nation's legal, foreign policy, and national security interests," says Mora. "I can't put it any plainer than that."
The $100 Laptop: The Next Two Billion People to Go Digital | 11/03/05 Negroponte's latest venture, One Laptop per Child, is a non-profit organization that manufactures and distributes inexpensive laptops to children worldwide.
The Future of Humanitarianism | 03/02/04 Kouchner argues that the globalization of compassion and human rights is a sign of substantial moral progress that can count some successes--most notably, in Kosovo and East Timor.
Waging Modern War | 05/28/03 Describing the experience of leading NATO to victory in Kosovo, General Wesley K. Clark (ret.) notes that, when he returned to the United States the following summer, "many people didn't even know there had been a fight."
The Mystery of Capital | 05/08/02 Economist De Soto's simple but revolutionary concept of the importance of property rights and rule of law is transforming developing countries around the world. He shows that by creating clear, enforceable, universally recognized property laws, they stand to realize $10 trillion in "dead capital."
Universalism and Jewish Values (2001) | 05/15/01 Though they lacked any state or territory of their own, Jews nevertheless created a distinctive political philosophy, one that deserves systematic scholarly attention.
Universalism and Jewish Values | 05/15/01 Though they lacked any state or territory of their own, Jews nevertheless created a distinctive political philosophy, one that deserves systematic scholarly attention.
Kosovo: An Assessment in the Context of International Law | 05/12/00 South African jurist Richard J. Goldstone, co-chairman of the International Independent Inquiry on Kosovo, traces the troubled history of the Albanian province of Kosovo after it was incorporated into the new Yugoslavia in 1945.
National Interest in the Information Age | 05/12/99 Nye provides several reasons why the information age is likely to enhance rather than diminish American power.
Directions in U.S. Foreign Policy: Interests and Ideals | 05/12/98 On the one hand, more people (in Africa, Asia, and elsewhere) are living in democracies, thanks in large part to globalization. On the other, there has been an erosion of national sovereignty, with governments ceding power to international forces.
The Future of the United States as a Great Power | 05/26/96 William Pfaff points to the danger the U.S. will face if it continues to hark back to a mythical, isolationist past. He urges American leaders to take up the moral and political responsibility demanded of a great power, which includes encouraging the nation's citizens to remain informed about the wider world.
Intervention: From Theories to Cases | 05/26/94 J. Bryan Hehir argues that the legal norm against intervention in other nations' affairs is eroded once it becomes impossible to ignore the moral imperatives to rescue those in need and/or end violations of human rights. That said, he favors a prudent approach toward intervention, with non-intervention remaining the norm. This lecture was also published in Ethics & International Affairs, Vol. 9 (1995).
Woodrow Wilson's Fourteen Points after 75 Years | 05/12/92 Although much of Wilson's thinking is still relevant, he in no way anticipated "such horrors as the Holocaust, or the famine in Somalia, or the swirl of hatreds within countries and the refugees stumbling across borders"; nor did he have any "inkling of global issues such as climate change, overpopulation, and the poisoning of our environment."
Speaking Truth to Power: The Quest for Equality in Freedom | 05/12/91 Former Council president Robert J. Myers discusses the legacy of Hans J. Morgenthau: his realist doctrine and its influence on American foreign policy; some enduring dilemmas of American democracy; and the the mass destruction of humanity through nuclear weapons.
Is the Cold War Over? | 05/12/89 Arthur Schlesinger analyzes the failure of the Soviet experiment, something no historian had predicted. "The internal contradictions of communism proved far more destructive than those internal contradictions that Marx predicted would infallibly overthrow capitalism."
The Political Ethics of International Relations | 05/22/87 Leading international relations theorist Stanley Hoffmann argues that the greatest danger to ethical thinking in international affairs is "disembodied idealism," i.e., posing ethical solutions to political problems without first coming to grips with states and their interests. Like Hans Morgenthau, he links ethics with political realism.
Is Democratic Theory for Export? | 05/26/86 Barzun argues that democracy is a historical development and mode of life peculiar to the political context in which it developed. Attempts to export it (as sought by both the Reagan and Clinton administrations) will surely fail. Again and again, events have proved him right.
Words and Deeds in Foreign Policy | 05/12/85 Moral principles become disconnected from political actions in three ways: contextualizing ethics for time and place as well as man, politics, and the nation-state; subjugating morals in the name of a utopian end; and viewing power alone as a moral principle.
Interest and Conscience in Modern Diplomacy | 05/26/84 Famed Israeli diplomat Abba Eban examines modern developments that are said to have vitiated the power of modern-day diplomacy, refuting each in turn. He says that the challenges facing today's diplomats lie in finding a middle ground between conscience and interest, as Hans Morgenthau argued in his conclusion to Politics Among Nations.
FDR's Good Neighbor Policy Revisited | 05/12/83 Mexican diplomat Francisco Cuevas-Cancino pays tribute to President Roosevelt for pursuing a Latin American policy that was based on moral principles while at the same time serving the interests of the American nation. He regrets the loss of the Good Neighbor approach in more recent U.S. dealings with Latin America, citing the invasion of Grenada as a prime example.
Thoughts on Man's Purpose in Life | 05/12/82 "I do not claim to have a magic answer, but I believe there are some basic principles of existence, propounded by thinkers through the ages, which can guide us toward the goal of finding a purpose in life." Admiral Rickover considers our human need to find this purpose and meaning in our lives."
Power and Morality in Global Transformation | 12/12/81 Famed Indonesian intellectual Soedjatmoko says that the time has come for man to “develop the international legal infrastructure that will enable us to manage our globe peacefully, equitably, and effectively at a time when in many countries internal contradictions are eroding the moral consensus on which respect for law is based."