Foreign Policy as Ethics: Toward a Re-Evaluation of Values

Daniel Bulley

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6 Citations (Scopus)
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This article notes that while ethics is increasingly talked of in foreign policy, it remains a blind-spot for FPA. It argues that this must be rectified through a critical approach which conceptualises foreign policy as ethics. The first section examines how even constructivist approaches, which are highly attuned to the intersubjective sphere, still generally avoid dealing with morality. The second section looks at the possibilities and limits of one piece of constructivist theorizing that explores the translation of morality into foreign policy via ‘norms’. This demonstrates the problems that a constructivist account, with its tendency toward explanatory description without evaluation, will always face. The final section argues, through an examination of EU foreign policy (from 1999-2004) and its innovative use of ‘hospitality’, that FPA must critically reassess the value of the norms and principles by which foreign policy operates in order to suggest potentially more ethical modes of encounter.
Original languageEnglish
JournalForeign Policy Analysis
Issue number2
Early online date04 Feb 2013
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014


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