The Ethics of Foreign Policy: A Framework

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Despite the numerous frameworks for assessing ethical issues within foreign policy, more general accounts on the ethics of foreign policy that unite these various areas have not yet emerged. This article therefore aims to sketch a general framework for the ethics of foreign policy, which I call the “Pragmatic Approach”. In doing so, it considers why Just War Theory is not suitable as the basis for a framework for the ethics of foreign policy. It also shows how the Pragmatic Approach can be used to make judgements on three different foreign policy issues: the ethics of signing a new trade deal, the ethics of negotiating with unfriendly states, and the ethics of launching drone strikes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
JournalThe SAIS Review of International Affairs
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 24 Sept 2019


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