Carnegie Ethics Online is a monthly column featuring short, prescriptive contributions from writers who examine ethical dilemmas in current policy issues.
Carnegie Council provides an open forum for discussion. Views expressed are not necessarily those of Carnegie Council.
The World of Wal-Mart | 05/09/2013 With the deadly collapse of the Bangladesh factory building in April 2013, once again the spotlight is on multi-national companies like Wal-Mart, whose production is often out-sourced to factories with substandard conditions. As usual, there are promises of reforms, along with denials of culpability. But will the world of Wal-Mart ever change?
Exit, Voice, and Loyalty at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal: Should the International Community Stay or Go? | 04/23/2013 The Khmer Rouge Tribunal is in big trouble, much of it financial. But the financial deficit is the result of something deeper: a responsibility deficit. The UN and the international community owe it to the victims to persevere--and quickly, before all those under indictment die of old age.
Drones: Legal, Ethical, and Wise? | 03/19/2013 The U.S. drone program raises serious ethical concerns, particularly about accountability and due process. Congress, with support from President Obama, must develop new oversight rules to ensure that U.S. values are safeguarded.
Scotland, Independence, and Internationalism | 02/25/2013 The debate over Scotland's future is one that not only has ramifications for Scotland and Britain, but for the rest of the world as well.
Will 2013 Launch the Asian Century? Don’t Count on It | 01/02/2013 If an Asian Century means one in which Asian culture and politics dominate the globe, it won't be coming any time soon. Instead, for many decades to come, Asians will likely seek to increase their freedom and equality to accompany their growing prosperity--the universal values that define the American Century.
The Crisis in Greece, Democracy, and the EU | 12/10/2012 The sovereign-debt crisis in Greece made clear that the fate of Greece, the Eurozone, and the EU are irrevocably bound together. It sparked debates on economic reform, democracy, solidarity, sovereignty, and popular discontent. This essay examines these questions by looking at one event: Prime Minister Papandreou's attempted referendum in 2011.
The New Assassination Bureau: On the 'Robotic Turn' in Contemporary War | 11/06/2012 When the film "2001" first came out, the plot--in which a robot faces an ethical decision--seemed like pure science fiction. Today it's becoming reality. This essay examines the legal and ethical dilemmas created by increasing automation in warfare, including what the authors believe is the most problematic area of contemporary war: the use of drones.
MEK: When Terrorism Becomes Respectable | 10/17/2012 The Iranian group Mujahedin-e Khalq [MEK] has been on the U.S. global terrorist list since 1997. So just why has the U.S. State Department removed it from the list?
How Religious Leaders Can Come Together to Work on Global Problems | 09/30/2012 Religious leaders must come together as never before and take an active role in making an interfaith dialogue with global peace and security as its goal, says Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina Mustafa Ceric. He cites three important initiatives from his own experiences.
Technology for Development: Why Training Trumps Technology | 08/13/2012 An innovative project is bringing a "Solar-Computer-Lab-in-a-Box," along with solar-powered Internet, to a tiny, off-the-grid Pacific island. But while the technology is exciting, it's not enough. For projects of this kind to be sustainable, training, skill-building, and partnering are equally important.
The Phone Hacking Scandal: Global Implications | 07/30/2012 The UK hacking scandal was a major breach of law and ethics. Yet too extreme a backlash runs the risk of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, and any legislative or regulatory changes in the UK could also have consequences for international freedom of the press.
Dealing with "Enablers" in Mass Atrocities: A New Human Rights Concept Takes Shape | 06/26/2012 Because mass atrocities are organized crimes, crippling the means to organize and sustain them--money, communications networks, and other resources--can disrupt their execution, writes George Lopez.
Coming Unstuck | 05/23/2012 What is the role of the nation-state in a globalizing world? The need is not for a relinquishment of national identity per se, but for becoming "unstuck" from the almost sacrosanct nation-state-centered doctrines that undergird policy at multiple levels.
Two Faces of Apple | 04/02/2012 On the customer side, Apple is one of the world's most innovative and successful companies. But when it comes to working conditions at its plants in China, its record is marred by significant violations. Will new CEO Tim Cook work to set a new standard for tech industry workers in Asia?
Europe's Far Right Goes Mainstream: The Failure of Multiculturalism? | 03/21/2012 What explains the far right's resurgence across Europe? Despite the perceived failures of multiculturalism, the continent should do more to understand why xenophobia remains so compelling and why its immigrants continue to struggle to become European.
The Varieties of Protest Experience: How Accountability Gaps Link the Arab Spring and Occupy Wall Street | 02/08/2012 Can the recent eruption of protests be interpreted as a single phenomenon, even though spread out across great distances and separated by barriers of language and culture? Can we locate a common strand of thought or purpose that binds them together?
The Strategic Use of Electoral Mismanagement in the Democratic Republic of Congo | 01/18/2012 The November 2011 elections were a historic opportunity to begin rebuilding the fragile DRC state. But as this first-hand account shows, evidence suggests that power politics and strategic manipulation prevailed, betraying the Congolese people.
What to do? Choices and Trade-offs in Japan's Post-Fukushima Energy Policy | 12/21/2011 The Fukushima disaster has caused a backlash against nuclear power. But can Japan maintain a nuclear-free society without risk of rolling blackouts? Are energy security, economic efficiency, and environmental sustainability fundamentally compatible or mutually exclusive?
Philanthropic Foundations, Think Tanks, and Development: Understanding and Assessing the Think Tank Initiative | 11/21/2011 Can think tanks really facilitate growth? How robust are the Think Tank Initiative's evaluative and accountability processes? Measuring how the TTI fares will not only enable us to gauge the venture's efficacy, but also help us to better understand the role that philanthropic foundations play.
Freeing Gilad: An Ethical Conundrum | 10/18/2011 The relief that so many feel at Gilad Shalit's release must be tempered by an acknowledgement that the deal Israel made with Hamas to secure Gilad's release is, at best, morally problematic, if not actually unethical. It involves difficult moral questions for both Israelis and Palestinians.