The Carnegie Council has led the debate on the ethics of war and peace ever since its founding in 1914. Our work is based on the premise that internationally recognized norms—such as human rights, self-determination, sovereignty, justice, and legitimacy—must be part of foreign policy. 

Council programs generate a dialogue that explicates the moral choices behind the toughest issues in international affairs, and the implications and consequences of these choices.

Our current and recent work focuses on the following aspects of Ethics, War and Peace:

  • What rules should guide actions against the threats posed by non-state actors?
  • Do current global institutions ensure the best collective security? If not, how can they be reformed?
  • What are the responsibilities of occupying forces in the aftermath of war?
  • The ethics of humanitarian intervention and non-intervention
  • The dilemmas of reconciliation in the aftermath of violent conflict
  • The challenges of humanitarian relief and peace-keeping operations
  • Refugees from war