This issue features a roundtable organized by Rafael Biermann examining how states and other actors balance legal norms, moral values, and national interests in various policy areas. The collection contains contributions from Rafael Biermann, Nigel Biggar, Megan Bradley,Gareth Evans, Stefan Oeter, and Hugo Slim. The issue also contains an essay by Sean Kanuck on being human in an age of artificial intelligence; a response by Edward C. Luck to Bolarinwa Adediran's article on UN Security Council codes of conduct (EIA 32.4); a review essay by Christian Schemmel taking a philosophical look at inequalities; and book reviews by Mark Drumbl, Elizabeth Finneron-Burns, and Hyeran Jo.
Humor, Ethics, and Dignity: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence
This essay explores humans' unique capability to understand context and process unrelated and unstructured data, which is fundamental to both humor and ethics. Because AI lacks this capability, society has a choice to make about how far we proceed with these technologies.
ROUNDTABLE: BALANCING LEGAL NORMS, MORAL VALUES, AND NATIONAL INTERESTS
How do states reconcile national interests with legal norms and moral values? One answer lies in the concept of good international citizenship and the recognition that there are concrete benefits for states that cooperate to advance global public goods.
A Christian View of Humanitarian Intervention
This essay explains the difference between positive and natural law, and argues that even when humanitarian military intervention violates the letter of international law, and even when it is motivated by self-interest, it may still be morally justified.
Secessionist Conflict: A Happy Marriage between Norms and Interests?
In this essay, Biermann argues that in secessionist conflicts, actors tend to choose norms that align with their interests: states stress territorial integrity, while secessionist groups emphasize self-determination. But there are important outlier cases that complicate this picture.
Unresolved and Unresolvable? Tensions in the Refugee Regime
Many proposals to repair the foundering refugee regime attempt to reconcile tensions between law, morality, and national interests surrounding refugees, but this essay argues that advancing durable solutions does not necessarily mean overcoming these inherent tensions.
Conflicting Norms, Values, and Interests: A Perspective from Legal Academia
This essay argues that norms, values, and interests do not inhabit different universes, but are interrelated concepts. Values clearly influence norms and often underpin them, while seemingly concrete norms are themselves often fragile constructs trying to balance competing interests.
Humanitarian Diplomacy: The ICRC's Neutral and Impartial Advocacy in Armed Conflicts
The ICRC's approach to humanitarian diplomacy offers one particular way of balancing legal norms, moral values, and national interests, and this essay argues that there is an important place for the ICRC's style of "quiet" diplomacy alongside other "loud" forms of advocacy.
Could a United Nations Code of Conduct Help Curb Atrocities? A Response to Bolarinwa Adediran
Edward C. Luck
In this response, Luck writes that even though a code of conduct may have little effect on Security Council decision-making, the proposed codes have already proven their worth in political and normative terms.
The Many Evils of Inequality: An Examination of T. M. Scanlon's Pluralist Account
Why Does Inequality Matter? is the long-awaited book-length development of T. M. Scanlon's views on objectionable inequality, and our obligations to reduce or eliminate it. This review essay presents an in-depth theoretical look at—and critique of—Scanlon's pluralist approach.
Crime and Global Justice: The Dynamics of International Punishment
Daniele Archibugi and Alice Pease
Review by Mark A. Drumbl
In this book, Archibugi and Pease survey familiar territory, but they distinguish their contribution by using case studies to tell their story, focusing on the indictments, trials, and convictions of well-known heads of state.
Should We Control World Population?
Review by Elizabeth Finneron-Burns
This book deals with a topic that is both complicated and controversial—influencing the reproductive behavior of individuals. Though it has some shortcomings, overall the book provides an antidote to the commonly-held assumption that procreation is beyond the legitimate scope of governmental influence.
Wars of Law: Unintended Consequences in the Regulation of Armed Conflict
Tanisha M. Fazal
Review by Hyeran Jo
The book convincingly shows that efforts to regulate and govern the conduct of war have bred counteracting reactions by warring parties. Fazal's persuasive analysis raises pressing questions, including whether such unintended consequences are inevitable.