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. …
SARAJEVO, BOSNIA, AND HERZEGOVINA – How should we mark the 100th anniversary of the assassination of the Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie, the event that set in motion the chain of events that led to World War I? What lessons can we learn from the crisis that began on June 28, 1914?
Dear Mr. Carnegie,
As the current president of the Carnegie Council for Ethics in International Affairs, it is my privilege to report to you on the eve of the 100th anniversary of our founding.
It is not often that we have an opportunity to think in terms of 100 years. It’s a span well-suited to remind us that while our lives are time-bound, our connections endure. And as much as things change, they remain the same.
The concept of “common good” is especially appealing because it is consistent with realism. By realism I mean that actors act according to their interests as a matter of both survival and well-being. Human flourishing implies natural tendencies toward self-help as well as care towards those whose lives are bound up with ours.
This idea—the idea that our self-interests are always bound in some way to the interests of others—takes on a new dimension in the age of globalization.