Top 10 Resources for 2012-13 Program Year

August 1, 2013

CREDIT: Dennison Uy (CC). Illustration: Dennis Doyle

Resources focusing on ethics and technology featured prominently in our global audience's favorites this last program year (July 2012–June 2013).

Topics include the UK phone hacking scandal, drone warfare, and climate change. The list also features a discussion over whether the world is becoming more peaceful, and two articles from our Ethics on Film series. Join the conversation by posting comments!

In addition to, we hope you'll check out Carnegie Council's other websites: our journal, Ethics & International Affairs; our online magazine, Policy Innovations; and our social network, Global Ethics Network

1) The Phone Hacking Scandal: Global Implications
Alexa Van Sickle, The International Institute for Strategic Studies
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.
(Carnegie Ethics Online, July 2012, article)

2) Drones: Legal, Ethical, and Wise?
Joel H. Rosenthal, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
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.
(Carnegie Ethics Online, March 2013, article)

3) Economics Has Replaced Ethics
Laura J. Rediehs, St. Lawrence University
"The biggest ethical challenge facing us today is that we have let economics replace ethics as a guide to life, and in doing so, we have devalued people and the associated virtues of respect, cooperation, empathy, and compassion. This problem underlies and complicates the more specific ethical challenges we face."
(Student/Teacher Essay Contest, February 2013, article)

4) Is the World Becoming More Peaceful?
Steven Pinker, Harvard University
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic
Joel H. Rosenthal, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
In this vigorous discussion, two leading thinkers in global affairs—Harvard professor Steven Pinker and Atlantic correspondent Robert D. Kaplan—take on the subject of world peace, a core interest of Carnegie Council.
(Ethics Matter Series, September 2012, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

5) Ethics Matter: Environmentalist Bill McKibben on Climate Change
Bill McKibben,
Marlene Spoerri, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
It's wrong to say Americans are addicted to fossil fuel. The addicts are oil and gas company executives, who won't give up their profits. Until we put a price on carbon that reflects the damage it does in the atmosphere, we'll continue to have this catastrophic market failure and moral failure.
(Ethics Matter Series, October 2012, transcript, audio, video, TV show)

6) The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War (2013)
Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston University
Andrew Bacevich argues that militarism now permeates U.S. society. These attitudes emerged in the decades after the Vietnam War, and are at odds both with U.S. interests and with its founding traditions.
(Public Affairs, April 2013, transcript, audio, video)

7) Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Argo
Argo, which tells the story of a creative and daring escape from revolution-era Iran, won the Oscar for Best Picture and was a resounding commercial and critical success. Yet the film has angered diplomats and governments from New Zealand to Iran. Was Argo too well done for its own good?
(Ethics on Film, April 2013, article)

8) Ethics on Film: Discussion of "Zero Dark Thirty"
A fictional adaptation of the CIA's hunt for Osama bin Laden, this blockbuster has reignited the debate surrounding the CIA's use of "enhanced interrogation techniques"—i.e. torture. The movie has also sparked a discussion over the ethical responsibilities of filmmakers.
(Ethics on Film, March 2013, article)

9) The New Assassination Bureau: On the 'Robotic Turn' in Contemporary War
Caroline Kennedy, The University of Hull
Nicholas Rengger, St Andrews University
When the film 2001 first came out, the plotin which a robot faces an ethical decisionseemed 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.
(Carnegie Ethics Online, November 2012, article)

10) Thought Leader: Michael Walzer
Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study
Devin Stewart, Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs
"Where is the political space within which you can organize and mobilize for greater equality across the globe? That's a question I don't have an answer to, but I think it is a central question for those of us who set a high value on human equality."
(Thought Leaders Forum, August 2012, transcript, audio, video)