Ethical Failure in Syria Conflict

Ethical Failure in Syria Conflict

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Course: Ethics and Decision-Making in International Relations and Security

Write a critical paper on some aspect of this reading to: (as proof, example, criticism or any other)

Derek Chollet and Tod Lindberg, “A Moral Core for U.S. Foreign Policy,” Policy Review No. 146, December 2007 (find on-line at )

Thesis: The thousands of Syrian internally displaced and refugees in neighboring countries and now arriving to Europe are a result of the international community’s ethical failure to deal with the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Be very concise and offer a critique of readings.
Students’ succinct papers will offer a critical assessment of (rather than simply a report on) some aspect of the reading. How well rather than what position one argues will be the basis of grades.

Other Sources you may use (but with great focus on the Chollet and Lindberg):
Class 1
Topic: Introduction and Frameworks for Decision-Making: Framing ethical judgments
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, the Mytilenean Debate (Book III, Paragraphs 25-28, 35-50); the Melian Dialogue (Book V, Paragraphs 84-116)

Class 2
Topic: Machiavelli and Modern Politics
Necessity in politics
Sources of self-delusion
An undeluded, self-interested path to morality?
Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince (trans. Harvey C. Mansfield)

Class 3
Topic: Alternate Visions, Round 1: Consequentialism and Its Critics
Deontological, consequentialist, and virtue ethics
Anarchy, interest, and power
A foreign policy without morality?

Muel Kaptein and Johan Wempe, “Three General Theories of Ethics and the Integrative Role of Integrity Theory,” SSRN revised version of the chapter in Kaptein & Wempe, The Balanced Company: A Corporate Integrity Approach (Oxford University Press, 2002).
If you have not already read them:
John J. Mearsheimer, “The False Promise of International Institutions,” International Security 19:3 (Winter 1994/95)
Alexander Wendt, “Anarchy Is What States Make of It: The Social Construction of Power Politics,” International Organization 46:2 (Spring 1992), 391-425

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