Ethics matter. This is not only the tag line for the Carnegie Council. It is also the proposition of my work. Many writers take up ethical issues. But few have the vantage point of the Carnegie Council — a place where leaders from around the world come to share ideas, reflect on their experiences, and engage in public conversation.

Posted here are lectures, articles, and reviews reflecting my engagement with the Council’s activities. If there is a pattern, one might say it is opportunistic, seeking to add the ethical dimension to debates ongoing. One might also see a thread of realism. In my view, power and ethics are inseparable and are best considered together. …

Peace: What Is It Good For?

A speech given as part of Yale Law School’s Global Consitutionalism Seminar 2012, convening on the occasion of the Centennial of Carnegie Corporation, New York, and of the Peace Palace, The Hague, and celebrating Andrew Carnegie’s vision of international justice. The four-day event was held at the Peace Palace in The Hague from 29 August–1 September 2012.  

“There are few names more deserving of close association with the word “peace” than Andrew Carnegie. Carnegie alone had the vision and resources to invest in the first global institution devoted to the pursuit of peace. And those of you who know his life story know how hard he worked to lobby, cajole, nag, and flatter Kaisers, kings, prime ministers, and presidents to make his dream a reality.”

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Life, Money, and the Pursuit of Happiness

The day after the Moore, Oklahoma tornado of 2013, a single image dominated media coverage: a photo of the two-foot thick concrete and steel bank vault of the Tinker Federal Credit Union. The vault was the only thing left standing on a flattened city block. Twenty-two people had miraculously walked out of the vault alive and unharmed after taking refuge amidst the deposit boxes. Just down the road, 24 others had perished, including seven children in the Plaza Towers Elementary School.

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