AbstractIn her new memoir, The Education of an Idealist, Samantha Power reflects on her eight years in the Obama administration. Although she claims that the experience did little to change her views, there is a considerable disjuncture between her point of view in her award-winning earlier book "A Problem from Hell," in which she criticizes U.S. officials for not doing the right thing, and her point of view in The Education of an Idealist, in which she defends indifference of U.S. officials under somewhat similar circumstances during the Obama years. The author of Problem could not have written Education, and the author of Education could not have written Problem. What does this tell us about the possibility for ethics in foreign policy?
AbstractMichael Zürn's Theory of Global Governance is an original, bold, and compelling argument regarding the causes of change in global governance. A core argument is that legitimation problems trigger changes in global governance. This contribution addresses two core features of the argument. Although I am persuaded that legitimacy matters, there are times when: legitimacy appears to be given too much credit to the relative neglect of other factors; other times when the lack of legitimacy has little discernible impact on the working of global governance; and unanswered questions about how the legitimacy of global governance relates to the legitimacy of the international order of which it is a part. The second feature is what counts as change in global governance. Zürn reduces change to either deepening or decline, overlooking the possible how of global governance. In contrast to Zürn's map of global governance that is dominated by hierarchies in the form of international organizations, an alternative map locates multiple modes of governance: hierarchies, markets, and networks. The kinds of legitimation problems that Zürn identifies, I argue, can help explain some of the movement from hierarchical to other modes of global governance.
This book explores the fluctuating relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. For most of their lives, human rights and humanitarianism have been distant cousins. Humanitarianism focused on situations in faraway places dealing with large-scale loss of life that demanded urgent attention whilst human rights advanced the cause of individual liberty and equality at home. However, the twentieth century saw the two coming much more directly into dialogue, particularly following the end of the Cold War, as both began working in war zones and post-conflict situations. Leading scholars probe how the shifting meanings of human rights and humanitarianism converge and diverge from a variety of disciplinary perspectives ranging from philosophical inquiries that consider whether and how differences are constructed at the level of ethics, obligations, and duties, to historical inquiries that attempt to locate core differences within and between historical periods, and to practice-oriented perspectives that suggest how differences are created and recreated in response to concrete problems and through different kinds of organised activities with different goals and meanings.
This article uses the concept of international practices to explore the distinctions between human rights and humanitarianism in the contemporary period and, in turn, uses this exploration to comment on the concept of international practices. First section proposes to advance the theoretical and empirical utility of the concept of practices by parsing it into the 'problem' that sets the story in motion, what counts as competent action, background knowledge, and meanings. Second section applies this framework to the relationship between human rights and humanitarianism. Beginning in the 1990s, they began responding to many of the same material realities, which unleashed two, interrelated, processes, but had different ways of understanding competent action, background knowledge, and meanings. They began to revise their practices not only in response to new challenges but also to how the other evolved, generating new distinctions. These points of distinction were structured by different kinds of suffering and informed their contrasting narratives of precarity in the case of humanitarianism, and progress in human rights. The conclusion considers how this discussion of human rights and humanitarianism redirects contemporary research on international practices.