A ground-breaking study of an issue that has moved to the forefront of international relations
In Ethics and International Politics, Luigi Bonante challenges the realist argument that relations between states are essentially amoral and governed exclusively by considerations of power and self-interest. He argues instead for the possibility of a moral theory of international life and, in doing so, lays a foundation for making moral assessments of international politics.
Bonante develops his own prescriptive, neo-Kantian approach to international ethics and synthesizes virtually all relevant primary and secondary source material. He employs real-world examples to show that the interconnectedness of modern states has led to the development of an international community withs its own institutions and code of behavior. Bonante identifies the primary obstacle obscuring the formation of an international ethic as the issue of finding consensus among the plurality of moral positions used by individual states to legitimize their actions. To achieve a universal morality, Bonanate contends, states must recognize that their fundamental duty—showing equal concern and respect for all human beings—extends beyond their respective borders to all citizens of the global community.
Luigi Bonante is professor of international relations at the University of Turin.
"The post cold-war world is a world of new choices, and moral criteria will be needed. Ethics and International Politics begins to set out the possibilities and limits of what can be achieved. It is a corageous attempt that will have adherents and critics, but it will not be ignored."—Joel H. Rosenthal, Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs