By Anthony F. Lang

ISBN-10: 0791451356

ISBN-13: 9780791451359

Why does political clash appear to always intervene with makes an attempt to supply reduction, finish ethnic discord, or repair democracy? to reply to this query, company and Ethics examines how the norms that initially inspire an intervention frequently create clash among the intervening powers, open air powers, and the political brokers who're the sufferers of the intervention. 3 case stories are drawn upon to demonstrate this phenomena: the British and American intervention in Bolshevik Russia in 1918; the British and French intervention in Egypt in 1956; and the yank and United international locations intervention in Somalia in 1993. even though hardly ever labeled jointly, those 3 interventions shared at the very least one robust commonality: all didn't in achieving their professed ambitions, with the troops being ignominiously recalled in each one instance. Lang concludes by means of addressing the difficulty of ways to solve complicated humanitarian emergencies within the twenty-first century with no the need of resorting to army intervention.

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Additional info for Agency and Ethics: The Politics of Military Intervention

Example text

The theory of agency developed here provides a starting point from which to examine the historical instances of intervention in the next three chapters. But those historical chapters also reveal the tensions between state agents and individuals that interventions create. Moreover, it is this same conflict between the person and the state that, I believe, created strains within the works of Morgenthau and Arendt. In other words, the next three chapters, while beginning with a framework that assumes state agents act in a competitive atmosphere, will simultaneously extract a set of problematic elements from that framework.

This section will suggest how such a move is possible (although rare) in international politics by drawing on an unexpected source: the political realism of Hans Morgenthau. At the end of this chapter, I compare this theory of state agency to realism and neorealism, which I argue are distinct from the theory articulated here. Nevertheless, it is in Morgenthau’s writing on diplomacy and the national purpose (not national interest) that we see how state agency can arise from narration and can possibly lead to a more democratic engagement.

But for Morgenthau, Wolfers, and Aron, these goals are purely instrumental ones— means by which the state can accomplish a particular end (Markey 1998). Following Arendt, I would argue that political action does pursue some specific action, but, importantly, its most important purpose is to create the space for further action. Arendt’s theory of political agency is, despite her indebtedness to Aristotle, distinctly anti-teleological. qxd 8/17/01 22 10:18 AM Page 22 Introduction Villa has argued, to reduce Arendt’s theory of political action to one that remains tied to the creation of a particular type of political community or consensus is to undermine Arendt’s more Nietzchean elements (Villa 1996).

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Agency and Ethics: The Politics of Military Intervention by Anthony F. Lang


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