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.
Climate Change Mitigation, Peacebuilding, and Resilience | 04/10/2014 How are our efforts to reduce the impact of climate change affecting post-conflict societies? Drawing on his empirical data on micro hydropower development in post-conflict Nepal, Florian Krampe investigates whether climate change mitigation contributes to peacebuilding there. The results are nuanced and rather unexpected.
Redrawing the Map of Global Knowledge: from Access to Participation | 03/13/2014 It's tempting to think that more money and machines will solve the problems of knowledge production inequality between the global North and South, writes Laura Czerniewicz. Yet values and practices shaped by the Northern agenda contribute just as much to global imbalances as material disparities do, and this must be confronted head on.
From Dehumanization to Rehumanization | 02/14/2014 "Rehumanization is the restoration of human dignity and the reassertion of the priority of humans above the systems originally intended to serve humanity. If we are to achieve rehumanization, we need to domesticate the techno-economic complex and quell its divisive forces," writes philosophy professor Laura Rediehs.
Secrets and Allies: UK and U.S. Government Reaction to the Snowden Leaks | 01/08/2014 Is Edward Snowden a whistleblower, a traitor, or a mixture of both? How should he and the media that published his leaks be treated? Journalist Alexa van Sickle analyzes the different approaches taken by the UK and the U.S., explaining their historical, legal, and cultural underpinnings.
Jeffrey Sachs: Idealist or Extreme Pragmatist? | 12/16/2013 Nina Munk's book about economist Jeffrey Sachs portrays his defense of the global poor as an act of faithful idealism. She could not have it more wrong.
Passionate Conviction and Inclusive Community | 11/19/2013 "Convictions matter. At least our own convictions—the affirmations, commitments, and practices that are central to our personal and social identity—matter to us. Yet because we live in an era of unprecedented global interaction, the convictions of people everywhere also matter to all of us whether we know it or not."
Chile's Opportunity to Eradicate Violence Against Women—and Set an Example for the Region | 10/21/2013 If Michelle Bachelet regains the Chilean presidency in the 2013 election, she has the opportunity to create a lasting legacy for women. What's needed is a multi-pronged approach that properly funds and enforces regulations, but even more importantly, goes to the root of the problem by bringing about cultural change.
The Fate of Cultural Property in Wartime: Why it Matters and What Should Be Done | 09/17/2013 Cultural property protection in conflict is often neglected as people argue that the lives of individuals in warzones are far more important than old buildings, pots, and books. However, it is not a question of prioritizing. We must not dismiss cultural property protection in conflicts as secondary to humanitarian tragedy, but as part of the effort to save humanity.
Some Thoughts on the Ethics of China's Rise | 08/14/2013 In this nuanced and knowledgeable piece, Wyne analyses China's changing values and challenges as the country takes a more prominent role on the world stage, from human rights, to humanitarian intervention, to the environmental cost of its breathtaking growth over the last few decades. He concludes with some thoughts on U.S. policy towards China.
Venezuela: An Ethical Foreign Policy? | 07/10/2013 Some observers see Venezuela's foreign policy as promoting international solidarity with the oppressed, combating poverty, and pushing for a just world order free of uni-polar domination. Others argue that it has been incoherent, militaristic, and prejudicial to regional stability. What does the evidence tell us?
China's Unilateral Sanctions | 06/13/2013 China's opposition to economic sanctions is legendary, yet there has been a subtle but significant shift in its own use of such sanctions. This represents an important trend in Chinese foreign policy--one that U.S. policymakers should take seriously.
The World of Wal-Mart | 05/09/2013 With the deadly April 2013 collapse of the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh, 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.