Ethos, Ethics and Morality in International Relations

MAX PLANCK ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, R. Wolfrum, ed., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming

13 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2009 Last revised: 10 Mar 2011

See all articles by Jochen von Bernstorff

Jochen von Bernstorff

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

Ingo Venzke

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law

Date Written: 2009

Abstract

This contribution focuses on the role of morality in international legal discourse. International lawyers endorse distinct methods and embrace particular concerns. Their arguments are oftentimes closely intertwined with the analysis and assessment of the practical consequences of the actual use of political leverage that builds on moral convictions or appeal. We distinguish three broad approaches: 1) Skepticism - morality is disguise and domination. 2) Foundation - universal morality provides the foundation of international law. 3) Process - law and morality stand in a constitutive relationship - morality is viewed as a possibility. The contribution argues that diverging conceptions, approaches and methods respond to distinct sensibilities and priorities of concerns that arise from diverging views on the existence and accessibility of a morality as well as on the reality of international law. Under the surface of distinct theoretical approaches to morality and international law loom diverging political judgments of the status quo of the current international legal order, of its history, its achievements and of its future.

Keywords: International Law, International Relations, Ethics, Morality

JEL Classification: K10, K33

Suggested Citation

von Bernstorff, Jochen and Venzke, Ingo, Ethos, Ethics and Morality in International Relations (2009). MAX PLANCK ENCYCLOPEDIA OF PUBLIC INTERNATIONAL LAW, R. Wolfrum, ed., Oxford University Press, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1497432

Jochen Von Bernstorff

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law ( email )

INF 535
Heidelberg, 69123
Germany

Ingo Venzke (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Amsterdam Center for International Law ( email )

REC A - Nieuwe Achtergracht 166
Amsterdam, 1018WV
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.uva.nl/profiel/v/e/i.venzke/i.venzke.html

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