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International ethics between hypocrisy, collective arrogance, and dirty hands - JMMZ397
Anglický název: International ethics between hypocrisy, collective arrogance, and dirty hands
Český název: Mezinárodní etika mezi pokrytectvím, kolektivní arogancí a špinavýma rukama
Zajišťuje: Katedra evropských studií (23-KZS)
Fakulta: Fakulta sociálních věd
Platnost: od 2019
Semestr: letní
E-Kredity: 6
Způsob provedení zkoušky: letní s.:
Rozsah, examinace: letní s.:2/0, Zk [HT]
Počet míst: neurčen / neurčen (15)
Minimální obsazenost: neomezen
Virtuální mobilita / počet míst: ne
Stav předmětu: nevyučován
Jazyk výuky: angličtina
Způsob výuky: prezenční
Poznámka: předmět je možno zapsat mimo plán
povolen pro zápis po webu
při zápisu přednost, je-li ve stud. plánu
Garant: prof. Pierre Allan
Mgr. Anna Lukešová
Mgr. Miroslava Pisklová
Termíny zkoušek   Rozvrh   Nástěnka   
Anotace - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)
Gandhi's brilliant and profound political and moral doctrine of non-violence and his continuing fight for Indian self-determination stand in contrast to his being, in some ways, a domestic tyrant. How can one reconcile these extreme attitudes? Jan Palach's 1969 sacrifice condemning the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, and even more so, Stefan Lux's suicide at a League of Nations meeting in 1936 ask the question of what individuals can do on their own to further freedom and peace in a significant way. Why did Lux's admirable letter to the British foreign minister pleading for a realist balance of power policy against the criminal Nazi regime make a lot of sense, while his message went unheard? Heinrich Himmler, while exhorting SS leaders in their duty to exterminate, was a good family man: how can that be? Kant's theory of morality, still at the center of current philosophical study was developed by this mysogynist; does that not vitiate his great doctrine? And, is it not surprising that Thucydides could picture his fellow Athenians as respectable democrats, this while describing the normal butchering and enslavement of the defeated Melians as the order of the day?

These questions -- and more so the stories they exemplify -- vividly depict the complexity of moral and ethical considerations, this especially in a multi-cultural world. Starting from them, the subject of international ethics will be developed. We shall analyze the inherent tensions between moral arrogance and hypocrisy, between unjust and Just War, a Just Peace and an imposed peace, between acceptable political acts and the moral norms these actions violate at times. The central topics and doctrines which will be developed are:
-- Pacifism and non-violence
-- Just War
-- Just Peace
-- Global Care
-- Human Rights, 'thin' and 'thick' morality and universal norms
-- Truth and morality (ambiguity & ambivalence of moral norms and values, personal vs. nation-state morality, true facts vs. 'fake news')

Aren’t nation-states, even democratic ones, simply ‘cold monsters’ primarily interested in their own power and security? The answer to both questions is a positive one. However, all is not black in this world torn between ethical ideals and Realpolitik considerations. Not only non-governmental organizations (NGOs), but states, too, are at times acting ethically. Why? When? How? And, 'thin' ethical precepts which are universal do exist – though they always apply through a kaleidoscope of local, historic 'thick' moralities grounded within particular cultures and epochs.

Although morality is first of all personal, its bases, possibilities, and limits are profoundly shaped by groups and institutions. Therefore, the practical, moral, and methodological question of going from a personal to a collective ethic is a crucial one. It is simpler for an individual to act morally than for a collective actor such as a nation-state. Politicians have to dirty their hands at times as they fulfill their moral duty of representing and acting for a multitude which is making contradictory assessments and seeking different goals, norms, and values.

Cíl předmětu - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)

Students will become familiar with concepts and theories helping them to develop their own thoughts about the realities, challenges, and impediments of international morality. They will be encouraged to think deeper about their personal ideals of international relations morality and critically evaluate philosophers' thoughts. They will learn how some of these thinkers themselves applied their ethical ideals and what their stories tell us about the nature of moral reasoning and that of ethical behavior.

Literatura - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)

Required readings


(NB: students are encouraged to read the texts by Gandhi, Devji, Thucydides, Hobbes and Weber before the first session; if they wish to read more, then the two texts by the instructor are also suggested)


Pierre Allan (2006, 2008), "Measuring International Ethics: A Moral Scale of War, Peace, Justice, and Global Care," in Pierre Allan and Alexis Keller (eds.), What is a Just Peace ?, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 90-129.

Pierre Allan & Alexis Keller (2012), "Is a Just Peace Possible Without Thin and Thick Recognition ?", in Thomas Lindemann & Erik Ringmar (eds.), The Struggle for Recognition in International Politics, Boulder,CO: Paradigm Publishers, pp.71-84.

Stephen T. Asma (2013), Against Faireness, Chiucago: Chicago University Press, (Chapter 1 “Even Jesus Had a Favorite”, pp. 1-20/notes 171-3; Chapter 5 “The Circle of Favors: Global Perspectives”, pp. 99-114/notes 187-90; Chapter 7 “Because You're Mine, I Walk the Line”, pp. 151-170/notes 193-6).

C.A.J. Coady (2018), "The Problem of Dirty Hands", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2018 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <https://plato.stanford.edu/archives/fall2018/entries/dirty-hands/>.

Faisal Devji (2012), The Impossible Indian: Gandhi and the Temptation of Violence, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, ("Morality in a time of mass murder", and "Politics beside itself", pp. 127-150.)

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1938), "If I were a Czech", in Harijan, October 15.

Carol Gilligan (1982, 1993), In a Different Voice: Psychological Theory and Women’s Development, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 24-45, 62-3, 100-5.

Thomas Hobbes (1651), Leviathan, New York: Norton, 1997 (chapter 13: "Of the Natural Condition of Mankind, as concerning their Felicity, and Misery", pp. 68-72.)

Immanuel Kant (1795), On Perpetual Peace, extracts.

Hans Küng (1997), A Global Ethic for Global Politics and Economics, London: SCM Press, (chapter 4: "A Global Ethic as a Foundation for Global Society", pp. 91-113.)

Chenyang Li (1994), "The Confucian Concept of Jen and the Feminist Ethics of Care: A Comparative Study", Hypathia, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 70-89.

Robert W. McElroy (1992), Morality and American Foreign Policy: The Role of Ethics in International Affairs, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press (chapter 1: "The Debate on Morality and International Relations", pp. 3-29.)

Avishai Margalit (2010), On Compromise and Rotten Compromises, Princeton: Princeton University Press, pp. 19-28.

Thucydides (431 BC), The Peloponnesian War, extracts (Pericles' funeral oration vs. Melian dialogue, 9 pp.)

Michael Walzer (1994), Thick and Thin: Moral Argument at Home and Abroad, Notre Dame, Indiana: University of Notre Dame Press, (Chapter 1: "Moral Minimalism", pp. 1-19; Chapter 4: "Justice and Tribalism: Minimal Morality In International Politics", pp. 63-83.)

Max Weber (1919), "Politics as a Vocation", in The Vocation Lectures, Indianapolis: IN: Hackett Publishing Co., pp. 78-92.

Metody výuky - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)

Focussing on international relations morality, we shall discuss ethical and political theory doctrines by Confucius, Gandhi, Gilligan, Hobbes, Kant, Küng, Morgenthau, Niebuhr, Singer, Rawls, Thucydides, Walzer as well as the instructor's. In that vein, we shall examine the minimalist international norms that governed and govern our world and interpret them in light of a Global Care ethic developed by the instructor. Thus, recognition of political communities on inter-cultural and moral grounds is essential, as well as an ethic of reciprocity between them. These fundamental principles are part of all major world religions. The old Just War doctrine presents us with an ideal to be strived for. This leads to a realist prudential non-interventionist code of conduct complemented by the duty of a minimal assistance to other communities in extreme situations. And, it requires a certain humility in assessing the moral world, allowing for one possibly making mistakes. Moral indignation can lead to arrogance. So, while being sure of their stand, states should nevertheless be waging a moral sword rather than a real one in order to pursue their national interests if not the betterment of the world.

Požadavky ke zkoušce - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)

Class attendance and participation: attendance is mandatory, with one unexcused absence tolerated; active participation based on discussions within class including points raised from required readings. Evaluation: 33% of final grade (33 points out of 100).

Final exam: Final two-hour written exam after the course, no documentation allowed. Exact date to be fixed according to student wishes and logistical imperatives. Evaluation: 67% of final grade (67 points out of 100).

Sylabus - angličtina
Poslední úprava: Mgr. Anna Lukešová (07.02.2019)

Block Master’s (6 ECTS) seminar course, Summer Semester 2019


Teaching sessions: always 14:00 to 16:50;

Thursday 21 February 2019 & Friday 22 February;

Thursday 11 April & Friday 12 April;

Thursday 9 May & Friday 10 May.


Room: STAN317 at Staroměstské náměstí 4/1, 110 00 Praha 1

(Faculty of Social Sciences – FSV, 3rd floor)

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