Morals in Political Thought: The Case of Georg Schwarzenberger Dmitry Pobedash Ural State University Realism in IR Theory • Predominant paradigm • Self-definition: Description of reality as it is Vs. Daydreaming of utopians, moralists Hard Core of Realism • IR mean anarchy and conflicts • Actors – rational sovereign states • States’ main concern – national interests • Interests are defined in terms of power • Necessity and reason of state trump morality and ethics Georg Schwarzenberger (1908-1991) • 1929 - Das Völkerbunds Mandat für Palestina • 1934 – fled to England (№3333) • 1941 – Power Politics (3rd-1964) • Interdisciplinary approach to international studies • Derive knowledge from analysis of state practice as expressed in legal documents Morals in Politics (GS) 1) “Denial of the existence of an international morality” (Machiavelli) 2) Denial of “any difference in kind between the moral obligations incumbent upon individuals and states” (Kant) 3) Different moral rules applicable to states and to individuals (Hegel) Colleagues • R. Niebuhr – Politicians may be immoral internationally as their first moral obligation is to their own people – Strong must rule to overcome anarchy • E. Carr – Morality can only be relative, not universal – Ethics is function of politics GS himself • Main concern not with the role “morality ought to play…as with the moral rules which are actually or else professed to be applied” • “Judging from State practice [politics are] imbued with ethical conceptions and maxims”, “international morality…is a reality” Is there an International Morality? • There are “moral norms common to all civilized nations” • In a system of power politics both international law and international morality are partially subservient and partially irrelevant • Frequent appeals to moral standards have utility value Evolution of Morality in IR • “in the period of absolutism” coincides with morality of the ruler • “when the people asserted their right of control in foreign policy” appears a split between individual and national morality • preservation and interest of state become the main consideration of foreign policy Functions of International Morality • Masks interests of power politics – serves “as a keen and powerful weapon against potential and actual adversaries” • Justifies state actions for its citizens – it’d be hard for states to mobilize citizens “without resort to some brand of ideology, borrowed from the realms of ethics” Functions of International Morality • Moderates actual policies – Constant lip-service to morality sometimes forces governments “to refine their methods in order to escape an over-brutal violation of the standards of international morality” • Shapes international law – used to strengthen shaky legal positions – state practice leads to “reception of international morality by international law” Functions of International Morality • Interests become secondary to moral values • Influence of international morality exceeds that of international law Problem! • International society co-exists with ~60 Leviathans • Every Leviathan appropriates the undivided loyalty of individuals Result: Individual moral values same – community? BUT! Egoistic national interests trump common good Realism Stops, Utopia Begins • Society vs. Community – “no halfway house” • Community – solidarity (common interests, law of coordination) • Society – war (clashing interests, law of reciprocity) What can unite? The Answer • Democracy (Anglo-Saxon) • Social justice Christianity! Future? • 1941 – community based on Christian values • 1951 – “Atlantic Union”, international federation of Western democracies • 1960s – despair • Now – still power politics?
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