GOVT-420 Ethics & International Relations
Fall for 2010-2011
In consequence of its Catholic and Jesuit heritage and purpose, Georgetown University is committed to assisting students in exploring and probing the ethical dimensions and consequences of every field of human endeavor and scholarship.
For those studying and preparing to work in the field of international relations, the ethical challenges are great, given phenomena like: genocide; terrorist attacks on non-combatants; state–sponsored brutalization of poor and/or powerless populations; famine; refugee and migrant outflows, and environmental degradation. Moreover, states continue to arm themselves with weapons of mass destruction capable of destroying the human community and the planet and “small arms”—ranging from machetes to anti-personnel landmines—capable of wreaking widespread harm.
The purpose of "GOVT 420: Ethical Issues in International Relations" is to investigate three questions in world politics:
To what extent are states (and their leaders) obligated to act in accord with moral principles in their relations with other states?
What is the chief content of these obligations—as these constrain a state’s external and internal sovereignty—and what are the limits of obligation?
What ethical frameworks have theorists and practitioners of world politics developed over the centuries that may assist students of international relations in developing a coherent perspective on the question of moral obligations between and among states?
For Government majors, this course may count either as International Relations or Political Theory.
The following syllabi may help you learn more about this course (login required):
Spring '11: McMorrow, M (description, file download)
Additional syllabi may be available in prior academic years.
Other academic years
There is information about this course number in other academic years: