Plural Views, Common Purpose: On How to Address Moral Failure by International Political Organisations

Lynn Dobson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

International organisations are actors capable of bearing moral responsibilities and ought to be accountable for their failures in doing so. However, we should understand these responsibilities and respond to their failures in the light of fuller considerations about morality and the common good. The article argues that the international community should ensure victims are attended to, but also that defaulting institutions may themselves need rehabilitation for different kinds of international common purposes to be achievable. Further, the ways in which both goals are agreed and undertaken must recognise multiple perspectives, else the possibilities for durable peaceable cooperation internationally will be damaged. Even in a world of plural views, we can find sufficient proximity on matters of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ to move toward further agreement. Drawing on Braithwaite, Rawls, and Sunstein, the article argues we should search out and build on such ‘islands of agreement’ on wrongs in international life and on mutually respectful ways of responding to them.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-54
JournalJournal of International Political Theory
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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