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Moral claims in world affairs

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: Moral claims in world affairs
Date published: 1979
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University
Establishing national needs and the policies that flow from them as not only contingent or expedient, but also 'right' and 'due' is meant to lend them a special and pervasive force, and practitioners of world affairs are prone to invest even their most commonplace behaviour with a sense of moral sanctity. This collection of essays explores in general terms the nature of the moral claims common in global politics and the phenomenon of partisan cosmopolitanism in particular. Detailed discussions are presented of the attempts to rescue a single body of human ideals from the multitude of systems that presently prevail, of the group, rather than universal basis of human morality, of the perennial tension between 'realism' and 'idealism', of human rights, justice and evil in the politics of the Powers. The racial conflict in Southern Africa and the moral precepts that inform the foreign policies of China and the Soviet Union are also surveyed. Here moral claims are considered in situ, as they emerge from specific political situations and are coloured by specific ideological perspectives. Although moral discourse is an integral part of any political enterprise, the question of 'morality' in international affairs is a curiously neglected one. This book seeks explicitly to confront our competing ideas of how the world is and how we would like it to be.


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