The United States, Moral Norms, and Governing Ideas in World Politics: A Review Essay [Abstract]

Ethics & International Affairs, Volume 7 (1993)

December 3, 1993

Nolan reviews three works describing the influence of ethics on modern international relations, namely Code of Peace: Ethics and Security in the World of the Warlord States (Dorothy V. Jones); The Age of Rights (Louis Henkin); and Morality and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Ethics in International Affairs (Robert W. McElroy). All present timely academic and historical arguments for existing opportunities to bring ethics into world politics. Jones and Henkin concern themselves most with moral principles involved in establishing international law and organizations, while McElroy discusses the same issues from the unique perspective of U.S. foreign policy. Nolan gives full recognition to the traditional role of democratic states, particularly the United States., in shaping the moral norms of the international system in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries through ethics that are Western in origin but certainly not in their inherent content.


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