Fall 2014 - 62575 - PA388K - Advanced Topics in Public Policy

Ethics & International Affairs

What is the relationship between morality and policy?  In the statecraft of international affairs, is it enough to develop effective policies, or should they be ethical policies as well?  If so, what are the foundations of ethics in foreign policy, and how do ethical considerations apply in particular issues and situations?  This course will begin with a consideration of various philosophical, religious, and psychological foundations for ethics.  It will then explore how ethics might apply to a range of specific issues and circumstances, including war and pacifism, human rights and humanitarian intervention, foreign assistance and poverty, torture and detention, and the complex relationship of personal conscience, citizenship, and duties to the state.  Readings will include philosophical and religious texts, issue case studies, and historical treatments, and class activities will include extensive discussions and simulations of various ethical dilemmas.  The class will not offer easy answers, but will attempt to equip students for ethical reflection and action throughout their careers.