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Morality of a Foreign Policy - Essay Example

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How might one judge the ethics or morality of foreign policy On the basis of criteria you have selected provide an evaluation of the foreign policy of either Bill Clinton, George W. Bush (the second term only) or Barack Obama.
Ethics and morality have always left a question mark because of their controversial elements on the international political platform…
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Morality of a Foreign Policy
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Morality is derived from a Latin word "mores", that means custom, habit or a way of life. For an act to be moral, there are three fundamental characteristics - foremost, universal allegiance, secondly, impartiality in all the acts and lastly, the act in itself should be self-enforcing. The implication of these elements is that moral values bind everyone to these norms, and irrespective of any one, it is applied to all perspectives and interests. Lastly, it should be through voluntary actions of the persons and not forced upon by any other. Ethics is doing what is right and refrain from doing what is wrong. And the good is determined by the norms that are applicable to that particular situation.
The political issues involve complex public affairs, and competing moral values and dilemmas and not simple moral verdicts. Ethical reasoning and judgments in foreign policy making involves use of relevant morals and illuminations in managing foreign relations with other states. The issues such as fairness of the international economic order, justice of the global institutions, and international regimes etc. should be guided by rules, and institutions in light of moral norms (Amstutz, 2005).
The politics among nations is governed by political Realism, the phenomenon that says that the society is governed by objective laws have its roots from the human nature. Since the political systems comprises of people, therefore, the societal laws of human beings are to always prevail in these systems. Any statesman should apply rational alternatives in meeting problems under all circumstances.
Morality has multiple facets to a foreign policy. Foremost, morality helps in defining goals and purposes of states and other players. No specific policy directives are given, but direction and general vision to highlight the nation's vital interests is given by the moral rules governing the foreign policy. It establishes the limits for any policy measure to be taken and acted upon. Moreover, any policy is also judged on the basis of these pre specified norms for judging the acts of the nations.
A moral foreign policy should address three instruments - the conscience of decision makers, the influence of domestic opinion, and the influence of international reputation. The domestic opinion is formed by the freedom of expression of the people - as judged by the media, interest groups, and nongovernmental and professional associations; whereas, global opinion influences the international reputation of the country by labeling it as a reliable and moral actor or not.
Kantian Ethics is the deontological approach talks about seeking happiness and that everyone will try to achieve pleasure and gratification to lead to the happiness, but, achieving happiness does not always fall in the purview of our powers, and it is a matter of luck. Thus, under this philosophy, evaluation of international politics actions taken might deem to be right or wrong, and not depending on the consequences. Thus, rationality is based on how a certain action is performed and not what does it result. Therefore, under this theory acts of terrorism can be favored by saying that these are the law enforcement acts, irrespective of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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