Responsibility and Virtue Ethics: How to Tackle Ethical Dilemmas in World Politics?

Hannes Hansen-Magnusson, Antje Vetterlein

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The volume closes by setting out an agenda for further research that follows from the findings of the case studies in three governance areas of security, environmental, and business governance. Based on the findings, we argue that responsibility should be considered as a methodological tool for scholars of global politics as it bridges the gap between politics, law, and ethics. The role of ethics in particular deserves further engagement, and responsibility as a category of practice provides a suitable approach towards this end. As the literature on ‘virtue ethics’ has highlighted, neither universal benchmarks nor a reliance on consequentialist arguments offer suitable leverage for analysis for communities and norms that develop and are maintained in practice. Rather, it is through an engagement with practices of knowledge creation and embedded ethics of the actors involved that we can shed light on the workings of global politics. Virtue ethics may be used for a critical and emancipatory research agenda that could be expanded to look into, for instance, global North-South relations or non-Western governance proposals.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Rise of Responsibility in World Politics
EditorsHannes Hansen-Magnusson, Antje Vetterlein
Number of pages5
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Publication date2020
ISBN (Print)9781108490948
ISBN (Electronic)9781108867047
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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