Ethics & International Affairs Volume 31.4 (Winter 2017)

Dec 8, 2017

We are pleased to present the Winter 2017 issue of Ethics & International Affairs!

This issue contains essays by Jonathan D. Caverley on how to slow the proliferation of major conventional weapons and Janos Pasztor on why international governance of geoengineering is so desperately needed; a roundtable on the overlapping relationship between the laws and the ethics of war, with contributions from David Luban, Valerie Morkevicius, James Turner Johnson, and Edward Barrett; a feature by Christopher J. Preston comparing the relative moral culpability of a carbon emitter to that of a benevolent climate engineer, with responses from Holly Lawford-Smith, Sikina Jinnah and Douglas Bushey, and Mike Hulme; and book reviews from Michael Goodhart, Ryan Jenkins, Sophie Rosenberg, Anna Stilz, and Matt Zwolinski.


Slowing the Proliferation of Major Conventional Weapons: The Virtues of an Uncompetitive Market
Jonathan D. Caverley

Proliferation of major conventional weapons (MCW) is at best a waste of valuable resources and at worst a fuel for more and bloodier conflicts. In this essay, Jonathan D. Caverley shows how the United States, pursuing its own political interests, can leverage its massive market power to slow the proliferation of MCW.

The Need for Governance of Climate Geoengineering [Full Text]
Janos Pasztor

In this essay, Janos Pasztor explains some of the major ethical issues surrounding geoengineering and introduces the Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance Initiative (C2G2), a major new effort to catalyze conversation on geoengineering governance, bringing together players from a wide range of social, geographical, and professional backgrounds.


Introduction [Full Text]

Just War Theory and the Laws of War as Nonidentical Twins
David Luban

In this essay, David Luban examines the similarities, but even more the dissimilarities, between just war theory and the laws of war. Specifically, he argues that, unlike just war theory, the laws of war require binary, on-off answers, come in packages, and are often detached from their original rationale.

Looking Inward Together: Just War Thinking and Our Shared Moral Emotions
Valerie Morkevičius

Valerie Morkevičius argues in this essay that just war thinking serves a social and psychological role that international law cannot fill. Law is dispassionate and objective, while just war thinking accounts for emotions and the situatedness of individuals. She proposes four ways that just war thinking can move beyond the law by focusing on moral emotions.

A Practically Informed Morality of War: Just War, International Law, and a Changing World Order
James Turner Johnson

Just war, international law, and world order are all historically conditioned realities that interrelate with one another in complex ways. This essay explores their historical development and current status while critically examining their interrelationship, and concludes by suggesting the importance of dialogue to strengthen both the moral and legal basis for world order.

On the Relationship Between the Ethics and the Law of War: Cyber Operations and Sublethal Harm
Edward Barrett

This essay examines the 2013 Tallinn Manual on the International Law Applicable to Cyber Warfare in order to illustrate the importance of both ethical and legal perspectives on norms governing the initiation and conduct of a new form of interstate conflict.


Carbon Emissions, Stratospheric Aerosol Injection (SAI), and Unintended Harms
Christopher J. Preston

In this article, Christopher J. Preston compares the culpability for any unintended harms resulting from stratospheric aerosol injection versus culpability for the unintended harms already taking place due to carbon emissions. To make this comparison, both types of unintended harms are viewed through the lens of the doctrine of double effect.


The Comparative Culpability of SAI and Ordinary Carbon Emissions
Holly Lawford-Smith

In this response, Holly Lawford-Smith points to the issue of agency in Preston's analysis. She argues that while the harms of geoengineering will be caused by culpable agents acting intentionally, the harms connected to climate change emerge out of the uncoordinated actions of billions of people. This problem of agency undermines any comparison about their relative culpability.

Bringing Politics into SAI
Sikina Jinnah and Douglas Bushey

In this response, Sikina Jinnah and Douglas Bushey unpack the political implications of some of Preston's assumptions and framing decisions in an effort to add a layer of practical richness to the abstraction of his analysis.

Calculating the Incalculable: Is SAI the Lesser of Two Evils?
Mike Hulme

In this response, Mike Hulme claims that Preston's argument rests shakily on the ability to determine and quantify climate harms and to distinguish forensically between their causes. Hulme also points to the importance of the distributional effects of the harms and their ethical and political ramifications.

REVIEWS [All Full Text]

Reconstructing Human Rights: A Pragmatist and Pluralist Inquiry into Global Ethics
Joe Hoover
Review by Michael Goodhart

In Reconstructing Human Rights, Joe Hoover locates the value of human rights in the work that they do in the world. He seeks to develop a pragmatic account that makes sense of rights as they are without attempting to deny the various tensions and contradictions that they present.

Ethics and Cyber Warfare: The Quest for Responsible Security in the Age of Digital Warfare
George Lucas
Review by Ryan Jenkins

George Lucas's Ethics and Cyber Warfare contributes much-needed scaffolding for discussions about cyber governance. He introduces a new category of cyber conflict, identifies emerging norms in cyberspace, and provides a qualified defense of the National Security Administration's surveillance infrastructure.

Justice in Conflict: The Effects of the International Criminal Court's Interventions on Ending Wars and Building Peace
Mark Kersten
Review by Sophie T. Rosenberg

In this book, Mark Kersten convincingly shows that the implications of pursuing "during-conflict justice" are varied and fluid rather than dichotomous and deterministic. The nuanced analysis is a refreshing contribution to the growing literature on the politics of international criminal justice.

The Theory of Self-Determination
Fernando R. Tesón, ed.
Review by Anna Stilz

This volume brings together international lawyers and philosophers, both skeptics and proponents, to debate the right to self-determination, enhancing our understanding of the normative issues surrounding this topic and achieving a distinctively interdisciplinary tone.

Basic Income: A Radical Proposal for a Free Society and a Sane Economy
Philippe van Parijs and Yannick Vanderborght
Review by Matt Zwolinski

Basic Income offers by far the most comprehensive and up-to-date discussion of universal basic income (UBI) available today, including a fascinating intellectual history of UBI, the major arguments for and against it, and the ethical issues it poses.

Briefly Noted

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